BILL Bennett, Minister of Energy and Mines and Minister responsible for Core Review, on Tuesday joined representatives from B.C.’s mineral exploration and mining industry to open the Toronto Stock Exchange and ring in 2014.

This year is expected to mark the start of production at two new mines in British Columbia. Red Chris, a $500-million copper and gold mine just south of Dease Lake, will provide 750 full time jobs. Roman, a $340-million coal mine near Tumbler Ridge, will provide 375 full time jobs.

On Monday, Bennett met with various federal ministers in Ottawa to discuss Taseko Mines Limited’s proposed New Prosperity mine, a $1-billion project which would provide 500 full-time jobs in the Cariboo region. The proposal requires the approval of both the federal and provincial governments to proceed and Bennett encouraged his federal colleagues to recognize the great economic and social benefits the project would create for the local communities as well as British Columbia’s proven track record of mitigating environmental impacts.

The long-term outlook for mining in B.C. is very positive. Since the start of the BC Jobs Plan, two new mines have opened including New Afton, which provides 405 full-time jobs near Kamloops and Mount Milligan, northwest of Prince George, which provides 1,350 full-time jobs for the area.

Five additional mining projects are under construction or permitted, seven major mine expansions have been approved and a further 20 major mines and expansions are moving through the province’s environmental assessment and permitting process.

The opening of the Toronto Stock Exchange is the first of many events taking place over 2014 focused on working collaboratively with the B.C. mining sector. Government and industry will come together at the end of January for the Association for Mineral Exploration B.C.’s annual Roundup. This event attracts thousands of industry leaders from around the globe and connects them with B.C.’s decision-makers to ensure mining can continue to thrive throughout the province.

Bennett said: “B.C.’s mining industry has not only helped shape British Columbia over the last 150 years, it is also an integral part of our province’s strong and stable economic future. I look forward to 2014 and working to ensure that British Columbia’s mining industry remains a cornerstone of our province’s overall success.”


Key Facts:

* Mining takes up a very small portion of B.C.’s land – less than one per cent – but it makes a tremendous impact on the province’s economy.

* In 2012, mining’s contribution to B.C.’s economy was valued at over $8.3 billion and exploration was recorded at $680 million, a 47 per cent increase over the previous year and the highest ever. Exploration spending remained strong in 2013, and mining remains one of the province’s more important economic drivers.

* Every British Columbian uses almost 23,000 kilograms (about 50,000 pounds) of mined products each year. When you brush your teeth, turn on a light, drive a car, ride your bike, put on the television, use a camera or telephone – you are supporting the mining industry.

* In 2012, more than 30,000 people were employed in mining, mineral exploration and related sectors. This shows significant growth since 2001 when only 14,700 people were employed in mining.

* Mining employs more First Nations than any other industry in B.C. and the Province has signed 10 economic and community development agreements with First Nations.

* Mining contributes hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue that help pay for government services like health care and education.

* Today, B.C. has 19 operating mines (nine coal and 10 metal). In 2001, B.C. had 15 operating mines (seven coal and eight metal).