Industry advocates hoping for big investment in 2024 budget. Critics raise alarms about a free-for-all
Miners in B.C. searching for deposits of minerals deemed critical for low-carbon technologies say they’ve never been more excited for the sector but require extended provincial support to realize their dreams.
Companies say they want to take advantage of the need for critical minerals — 31 materials in demand for batteries, electric vehicles, wind turbines and solar panels — by having B.C. become an important producer of some of the materials but also a role model in the industry for environmental standards and engagement with First Nations.
“It’s important that B.C. get involved and move fast. We need to invest in ourselves,” said Jessica Van Den Akker, acting president and CEO of the Association for Mineral Exploration B.C. (AME). The province is currently working on a critical minerals strategy to provide a framework for exploration, extraction, processing and manufacturing that includes Indigenous communities.
“The strategy is collaborative, it’s data-driven and fundamental that it balances reconciliation, conservation and economic values that B.C. has,” said Energy, Mines, and Low Carbon Innovation Minister Josie Osborne.
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