Mining in B.C. is on the rise. The northern region is leading the province in healthier returns from that sector of the economy that hasn’t been strong in recent years.
Operations near Prince George like Mount Milligan (north of Fort St. James) and Gibraltar (near McLeese Lake) have continued through the downturn, but a drop in global commodity prices caused an overall slowdown in many mining plays, and a significant cutback in the amount of exploration going on in the search for new deposits.
The price of key commodities like coal and copper are starting to climb again, said B.C. Mining Association vice-president of corporate affairs Lindsay Kislock and the signs of a waking industry are now being seen in B.C. where mining plays a pivotal role in the overall economy.
“Mines are a stabilizing force in a regional economy because the jobs are usually quite high-paying so families can be supported over a long term, there are many special skills involved in that work so there’s a diversity in a community’s makeup, and a lot of the money invested in the operation of a mine stays in the community where the mine exists,” Kislock explained.
“Prince George plays a huge role in the supply and support side of the mining industry in the whole northern context,” she added. “Finning just hired 50 people in Prince George specifically to address the mining sector, and that’s just one example.
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