Mineral Explorers Support Fair Settlement to Address Consequences of the Uranium Exploration Ban in British Columbia
Today the Association for Mineral Exploration BC (AME BC) expressed its strong support of the BC government’s recent $30 million out of court settlement with Boss Power Corp and its move to resolve the consequences of the politically driven ban on uranium and thorium exploration in British Columbia.
“While late in the proceedings, we appreciate the provincial government’s clear signal and commitment to follow well established permitting laws and to take into account fair market value when mineral explorers become prohibited from working on their mineral tenure and reasonable compensation is therefore required,” said Gavin C. Dirom, President & CEO of AME BC.
“Fundamentally, we believe the ban on uranium and thorium exploration is an unsound public policy based on very little science and enacted without due process or public consultation.
We hope to bring balance to the issue by working with government and the public to increase the understanding of the permitting process and geoscience through wider education and outreach. Ultimately, this should increase certainty about where responsible mineral exploration and development are permitted, restore the public’s and industry’s confidence and attract investment to the benefit of all British Columbians.”
"This is a fair and equitable settlement for the shareholders of Boss Power Corp. for an expropriation that took place over three years ago,” stated Randy Rogers, President & CEO, Boss Power Corp.
“Mineral exploration needs more than viable geological targets; for the industry to thrive in any given jurisdiction we need political stability and security of tenure.
British Columbia has a chance now to move forward and demonstrate to the world that this is a politically stable place to invest and that mineral tenure rights will be respected in the future."
Although British Columbia has 196 known mineral occurrences of uranium and thorium, there has never been an operating uranium mine in the province.
A moratorium on uranium exploration in British Columbia was introduced in 1980. The moratorium expired in 1987 and was not renewed.
On April 24, 2008, the Government of British Columbia declared an effective moratorium on uranium exploration, mining and development.
On March 12, 2009, the BC government issued a retroactive cabinet order to ban permits for uranium and thorium exploration and development in the province, which also had negative impacts on further exploration and development of mineral properties in BC that have incidental uranium and thorium.
AME BC, as advocacy organization for over 4,000 members involved in mineral exploration in BC and around the world, supports safe, responsible exploration for uranium. “Public policy on uranium exploration and mining should consider the risks and benefits and incorporate current, scientific knowledge in addition to consultation with Aboriginal peoples, local communities, and industry,” explained Mona Forster, chairperson of the Association.
In 2009, AME BC issued guiding principles on uranium and thorium exploration and development, which are available onlineHere
Uranium is one of the more common elements in the earth’s crust, and is about 40 times more common than silver and 500 times more common than gold. Currently, uranium mines are safely operating in over 20 countries around the world. Canada is the world’s largest exporter of uranium and has the most stringent regulations and safeguards on its use. Uranium and thorium have many positive and beneficial uses, principally in the energy sector to produce electricity that does not contribute to greenhouse gases and in critical health care applications.
AME BC is the predominant voice of mineral exploration and development in British Columbia. Established in 1912, AME BC represents thousands of members including geoscientists, prospectors, engineers, entrepreneurs, exploration companies, suppliers, mineral producers, and associations who are engaged in mineral exploration and development in BC and throughout the world. Through leadership, advocacy, and partnerships, AME BC promotes a healthy environment and business climate for the mineral exploration industry.
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