Following two years of continued growth, exploration activities in British Columbia remained steady through 2019, with expenditures down less than a percentage point from 2018.
This, according to the British Columbia Mineral and Coal Exploration Survey carried out by the provincial Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources, the Association for Mineral Exploration and Ernst & Young, based on responses provided by 29 prospectors and 171 companies operating in BC, which collectively represent 326 projects across the province.
“The positive momentum gained between 2016 and 2018 has flattened out, with exploration expenditure shifting across the province’s regions,” the survey’s final report reads.
“Investors continued to broaden their focus from gold toward copper, silver and nickel, as noted in the 2018 report. Exploration spend across the province totaled C$329 million, almost unchanged from the previous year of C$330 million but still an increase of 34% from 2017.”
According to the study, the behaviour of miners operating in British Columbia is consistent with the global shift from gold towards base metals. Decreases in gold were offset by increases in copper, whereas declines in coal were balanced by increases in nickel.
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