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[VIDEO] Clark Announces New Funding to Support Mining in British Columbia

British Columbias mining sector is getting a makeover.On Monday, BC Premier Christy Clark announced plans to increase the base budget for the Ministry o...

|Jan 29|magazine7 min read

British Columbia’s mining sector is getting a makeover.

On Monday, BC Premier Christy Clark announced plans to increase the base budget for the Ministry of Energy and Mines by $6 million, as well as help to establish a Major Mines Permitting Office to improve mine permitting and turnaround times for notice of work permits.

“Up to 10 new mines are expected to proceed in the next few years and this new funding will make sure we are ready to support these projects and ensure the safety of this important industry as it continues to grow,” said Premier Christy Clark.

"B.C.’s mineral exploration and mining industry is a great comeback story and today we have a significant opportunity to create thousands of jobs by opening new mines and expanding existing ones."

As of today, there are currently 30 mining projects in the environmental assessment and permitting processes.  Only 10 of those, however, will actually proceed in the next few years.

• The Avanti Kitsault project, located in Northwestern B.C., just received its environmental assessment certificate in March 2013. The project will employ 30 workers for the next 15 years.

• In 2012, the Red Chris mine in Northwestern B.C. received its mines act permit. The project is expected to create 300 new jobs.

• The Seabridge Gold’s KSM project, which received its environmental assessment certificate in 2014, is expected to employ over 1,000 employees for the next 50 years.  

“[The] Government understands that resource development is the backbone of our economy, creating local demand for goods and services and supporting tens of thousands of family-sustaining jobs throughout communities across B.C,” said government spokesperson, David Haslam.

The government also announced it will extend the $10 million mining flow-through share tax credit program to the end of 2015 to support investment in mining exploration. In addition, new permit fees for mines in B.C. are expected to raise an additional $3 million per year, however, exploration companies will not be charge.

“Today’s announcement of the Major Mines Permitting Office demonstrates that the government continues to take steps each year to improve the permitting process for the industry,” said Gavin C. Dirom, president and CEO of the Association for Mineral Exploration British Columbia.

“And we appreciate that permitting fees will not be applied to exploration activities because such activities do not generate revenue. We are also very pleased to see the continuation of the flow-through share program for 2015, which will encourage more companies to explore for minerals in the province.”

Since 2001, B.C. has increased its exploration spending in Canada from 6 percent to 21 percent. Five new mines have opened, creating over 1,300 new jobs, and seven major mine expansions have been given approval. Currently, BC’s mining sector employs approximately 30,000 workers with an average annual salary of $114,000.