B.C.’s major mining companies arrived at the Association for Mineral Exploration of B.C.’s annual convention talking about a more immediate need to reinvest in finding new mineral deposits, which comes as a relief to mining exploration companies at the event.
“It’s way more hopeful,” said Gavin Dirom, CEO of AME B.C., about the atmosphere at the event, which kicked off over the weekend in Vancouver. And because commodity markets have begun to recover, leaving mining companies bigger profits to consider reinvesting in finding new mines, that hope “is way more real,” Dirom added.
Exploration companies, the core of Vancouver’s mining industry, were the first to suffer the squeeze of a five-year downturn in mining that saw major companies, such as Teck Resources Ltd. and Goldcorp Inc., cut costs, slash capital spending and jettison joint ventures.
In B.C., spending on prospecting and exploration to find new mines shrank to $272 million in 2015 compared with $680 million at the peak, which saw the loss of dozens of small companies and hundreds of jobs.
That, however, began to reverse in 2016. Goldcorp was among the B.C.-headquartered companies to capture the biggest headlines with its $520-million purchase of Kaminak Gold Corp. last summer to acquire that firm’s highly advanced Coffee gold-mine project, which is ready to be turned into a mine.
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