Vancouver, BC – September 22, 2011 – Today the Association for Mineral Exploration BC (AME BC) applauded the release of Canada Starts Here: The BC Jobs Plan. In particular, AME BC thanked the provincial government for its commitment of $24 million toward reducing the time it takes to get decisions on approvals and permits for natural resource sectors. This will be done without compromising British Columbia’s world class safety and environmental standards or the requirement to consult with First Nations. The government has stated that once the permit and approval backlog is reduced, the target for turnaround on new “notices of work” for mines will be 60 days.
“Based on high commodity prices, our natural mineral potential, and proximity to Asian markets, BC is experiencing a modern-day gold rush built on safe, responsible and successful exploration,” said Gavin C. Dirom, President and CEO of AME BC. “There are more than 350 mineral exploration projects and 20 major mine projects active in BC. In 2010, we saw a doubling in exploration expenditures, up from $154 million in 2009 to $322 million as well as seeing almost $1.5 billion spent in construction and development of new mines or expansions. These new mines potentially represent the creation of 10,000 new jobs over the next ten years.”
“Our members, however, have identified the prolonged delay in receiving permits as a major challenge in advancing their exploration programs,” said Mona Forster, Chairperson of AME BC. “We thank Premier Christy Clark and her government for recognizing this challenge and addressing it directly in today’s announcement.”
Other highlights of the BC Jobs Plan that are related to mineral exploration and development include:
• A commitment to eight new mines and the expansion of another nine mines currently operating in British Columbia by 2015
• A Major Investments Office at the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation that will work with investors proposing significant projects in BC to coordinate and accelerate government’s activities to support them
• A new BC Jobs and Investment Board that will promote investment opportunities and identifying any issues and processes that may be limiting that investment.
• An Aboriginal Business and Investment Council to enhance Aboriginal people’s capacity for economic participation, transcend traditional Aboriginal and industry silos in project planning and development and provide investors with the tools they need to engage and partner with BC First Nations.
“We are confident that once implemented, the BC Jobs Plan will lead to new opportunities that will allow the mineral exploration sector to advance their projects in BC. These will provide enhanced employment opportunities that will benefit families throughout every region of British Columbia,” concluded Dirom.
About AME BC:
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.
For further information, please contact Jonathan Buchanan, Director, Communications & Public Affairs, AME BC, at 604.630.3923 or [email protected]. B-roll footage of prospecting, geological work, drilling, helicopter transportation, and other mineral exploration activities on properties in BC is available on request.