Mineral Report Causing Concern
Prince George, B.C. – A new report highlighting our province’s shrinking land base has The Association for Mineral Exploration in BC (AME BC) calling for action.
The report, Framing the Future of Mineral Exploration in British Columbia by environmental consultant firm Hemmera, “paints a troubling picture about a lack of clarity in land access and use rules as well as the overlapping nature of government regulations,” according to the AME BC.
The report also finds land access for mineral exploration has decreased in B.C., thereby “reaching a critical threshold threatening the survival of the industry and by extension, the jobs, families and communities that rely on it.”
AME BC president and CEO Gavin Dirom warns if the situation is not addressed, it could lead to devastating consequences for the 30,000 British Columbians employed by mineral exploration and development and the many communities that rely on it.
“Despite a perception that only a small percentage of land is designated as off limits to mineral exploration, the reality is that more than half the province is severely constrained to the industry due to layers of restrictive and sometimes redundant regulations,” says Dirom“We believe that it is possible to have both a strong and active mineral exploration and development industry and a sustainable, healthy environment.”
In response to the report, the AME BC is calling on the government to address the situation by “streamlining and clarifying land use regulations and as well as developing a modern decision making process.”
The AME BC says action on this matter is “urgent” to ensure a bright future for B.C.’s mineral exploration and development industry and for the families that rely on it.
But the matter of furthering exploration is not the top mining priority for Premier Christy Clark. She says no parks or protected areas would be open for such exploration “The challenge we have now, the urgent issues that we’re thinking about, is how we can support the mining sector through this really low commodity cycle, and it’s terrible, so how do we make sure, that we are there to support them, get them through this very difficult time so that they can start the rebuilding process and keep people at work in the meantime until commodities recover.”
Premier Clark is optimistic commodity prices will start to recover later this year , but in the meantime, she says the focus is in supporting existing mining operations to ensure they can weather this commodity storm.