M. of Energy, Mines & Petrol
B.C.'s mining industry is leading the provincial recovery, providing ample reason to celebrate B.C. Mining Week, announced Minister of State for Mining Randy Hawes. The week of May 9 to 15 was officially proclaimed B.C. Mining Week in the legislature today.
"We have a lot to be optimistic about when it comes to the mining and minerals industry in the province," said Hawes. "With rising commodity prices, our B.C. metals are in demand and we are responding. Expected mineral tax revenues are on the rise and, despite a difficult economic climate in 2009, we have two new major metal mines under construction, providing jobs and economic opportunities to our rural communities."
Two new major metal mines, Copper Mountain outside Princeton and the New Afton Mine outside Kamloops, are both currently under construction. Copper Mountain is expected to provide about 200 jobs during the construction and another 250 when the mine is fully operational. At New Afton, up to 550 jobs will be created during construction and 250 when the mine is fully operational. Construction is also set to begin this year at the Mount Milligan mine site, northwest of Prince George.
Overall, B.C.'s mining and minerals sector employs about 28,000 people in more than 50 communities throughout the province, and those numbers are set to grow. Mining Week aims to raise public awareness of the importance of mining and the collaboration between industry, government, First Nations, and communities to promote the industry. The mining and mineral exploration sector helps fund vital social services such as health care and education and supports families across B.C. With 150 years of history, from placer mining to our aggregate industry, the coal belts in the northeast and southeast and B.C.'s metal mines, there is plenty to celebrate this year.
To provide greater certainty to the mining industry, the B.C. government has recently extended the Flow-Through Share Tax Credit by three years, to 2013. Commencing in July the industry will see benefits from the implementation of the Harmonized Sales Tax. HST will save the mining industry about $55 million annually and industry has identified additional millions in savings for new mine development and construction.
"Mining Week, a tradition for the past 103 years, celebrates the role the industry plays in making B.C. a great place to live, work and play. With major new mines in construction, existing mines expanding and proposed projects nearing final approvals, B.C. is on the cusp of a renaissance in mining," said Pierre Gratton, president and CEO of the Mining Association of BC. "As a gateway, with its world-class geology, world-leading mining expertise and welcoming communities, British Columbia is poised to play a major role supplying the emerging markets with mineral and metal commodities. That is something to celebrate."
The Men of the Deeps will be celebrating Mining Week in B.C. with performances in Duncan on May 9, Campbell River, May 10, and Vancouver, May 13. For more information, see their website at www.menofthedeeps.com