Energy and Mines Minister Bill Bennett (right) visits ironworkers at Red Chris Mine in northwestern B.C. The northwest transmission line is to be completed this year

B.C. still attractive to miners, minister says

Prosperity mine rejection not being held against province, but land claim uncertainty still a shadow over investment for B.C.

Industry representatives from around the world are disappointed in the latest rejected mine in B.C., but they’re not taking it out on the provincial government, Energy and Mines Minister Bill Bennett says.

Bennett started his week in Toronto at the Prospectors and Development Association convention, pitching B.C.’s efforts to make B.C. more attractive to mining investment. He said delegates were disappointed to hear that Taseko Mines’ proposal to develop a copper-gold deposit near Williams Lake.

“People don’t associate that decision with the B.C. government, they associate it with the federal government, and I think people here are more optimistic than I expected,” Bennett said in a phone interview from Toronto.

With 30,000 delegates, the convention is the largest industry gathering in the world. Bennett promoted the construction of the Northwest Transmission Line, bringing electricity to the remote region north of Terrace. To be completed this summer, the line will enable operation of the Red Chris copper-gold mine near Iskut.

Of the 20 major mine proposals currently in the B.C. environmental assessment process, five are in the northwest.

Bennett said one of the main difficulties for junior mining companies is attracting financing for projects that take many years to develop and produce returns.

The annual Fraser Institute global survey of mining companies was released at the convention. Alberta was viewed as the most attractive jurisdiction in Canada for mining, and third in the world, based on taxation, legal system and certainty around land claims.

B.C.’s ranking in the survey went from 31st to 32nd in the world, a measure of its aboriginal relations climate.

Gavin Dirom, president of the Association for Mineral Exploration B.C., said the province has improved in the ranking over the past five years, along with Alberta and Nunavut.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Kootenay-Columbia MP urges end to ‘illegal roadblocks’ in solidarity with pipeline dispute

Rob Morrison says protestors across Canada need to remove roadblocks on roads, rail lines

Golden Food Bank looks for community support heading into summer

The food bank will be looking to keep momentum going from a succesful holiday season

Kicking Horse conditions update, Friday February 21

Kicking Horse reports no new snow in the last 24 hours. The… Continue reading

Golden Highway Update, Friday February 21

Watch for slippery sections between Quartz Creek Bridge and the western boundary… Continue reading

Moberly based Northern Silica to close doors

The layoffs come just a month after a temporary layoff over the holidays in December

VIDEO: Behind the scenes of turning newspapers into digital archives

Kelowna Capital News donated materials dating from 1980 to 2000

Landlord ordered to pay $11K after harassing B.C. mom to move days after giving birth

Germaine Valdez was pressured to move just a few days after giving birth by C-section to her child

Heart attacks strike B.C. husband and wife just over one year apart

Courtenay couple share personal stories to bring awareness to heart month

‘Nothing surprises us anymore:’ U.S. border officials find brain in package

U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents found the brain packed in a glass mason jar in a Canada Post shipment

Adapting to love along the Columbia River

One man starts a GoFundme to help his partner with health costs caused on the trip where they met

B.C., Ottawa sign sweeping 30-year deal for northern caribou habitat

West Moberly, Saulteau co-manage new protection on two million acres

Eyes on police after Trudeau orders blockades torn down, injunctions enforced

The RCMP in B.C. have sent a letter to the traditional leaders of the Wet’suwet’en Nation

B.C. massage therapist suspended following allegations of sexual misconduct

While suspended, Leonard Krekic is not entitled to practice as an RMT in B.C.

Cheapest in B.C.: Penticton gas prices dip below $1 per litre

Two stores in Penticton have gas below a dollar.

Most Read