Archive | British Columbia Mining

Red Mountain Rush: The Le Roi mine in British Columbia was a testament to the free-wheeling nature of mining during the gold rush in its early years – by Jen Glanville (CIM Magazine – March 16, 2020)

By the 19th Century the mineral wealth of British Columbia’s Kootenay region was considered a good bet thanks to the historic prospecting done by the Hudson’s Bay. The region was too remote to make mining economically feasible, but the emergence of two transcontinental railways in the 1880s changed all of that. In a matter of years, the region was opened up, and prospectors were on the hunt for their own El Dorado of the north.

Prospectors Joe Moris and Joe Bourgeois were among the first to jump at the opportunity. Bourgeois, the more experienced of the two, thought Red Mountain, near the town of Rossland, looked promising and staked the first claims there in 1890.

The samples derived from the claims were not favourable initially, and Bourgeois was hesitant to even record them, but with a bit of convincing from Moris, the two filed the claim with Eugene Sayre Topping, a deputy mining recorder for the provincial government. Continue Reading →

Exploration expenditure flattens in BC – survey – by Valentina Ruiz Leotaud ( – March 15, 2020)

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. Continue Reading →

Are foreign interests fomenting Indigenous dissent about Canada’s resource development? – by Diane Francis (Financial Post – February 25, 2020)

Climate change radicalism aimed at shutting down Canada’s resource base is behind the current blockade crisis, says Indigenous leader

Climate change radicalism aimed at shutting down Canada’s resource base is behind the current blockade crisis and is destroying efforts to improve the lives of most Aboriginal people, according to Ellis Ross, a prominent Indigenous leader and a Liberal MLA in British Columbia, in a powerful online interview with Resource Works News.

He is a former chief councillor for the Haisla Nation and has been at the forefront of issues concerning resource development and Aboriginal rights in his province.

“There is a well co-ordinated, well-funded machine shutting down Canada,” he said. “The agenda is basically anti-fossil fuel, but also forestry and mining. This machine has set back Aboriginal reconciliation by 20 years.” Continue Reading →

WHAT B.C. NEEDS TO BE NO. 1 IN THE WORLD OF MINING (Mata Press Service – February 13, 2020)

The mining industry in British Columbia is facing a crisis of confidence due to increasing red tape and social licence issues that has dampened investor confidence.

This sentiment was clear at the recent Association for Mineral Exploration’s (AME) 2020 Roundup convention, which brought together more than 5,000 delegates from industry, government and First Nations.

Despite this prevailing perception, fuelled by the fact that no new mines have opened In British Columbia in the last two years, mining continues to be a mainstay of the provincial economy. Continue Reading →

British Columbia: Hoping for more gold, 120 years after the Atlin gold rush began – by Matthew McFarlane (CBC News British Columbia – February 2, 2020)

‘There’s gold in these veins,’ says CEO of exploration company looking for the source of Atlin’s gold

Some cities are born and die as gold rush towns. Barkerville, Skagway, Dawson City all saw their fates ride on gold and now have become museums of sorts — a tribute to their former glory.

But one far flung B.C. community still has the lure of gold in its eye, long after it saw its gold rush come and go.

Atlin lies in the the very northwest corner of B.C. The only way in and out is through Yukon Territory. The community hugs the shores of its namesake, the massive glacier-fed Atlin Lake. It has a rustic ghost-town-like feel. Ramshackle buildings, quiet streets, abandoned mining equipment — it’s a peaceful and tranquil spot, a far cry from the place it was over 100 years ago. Continue Reading →

B.C. Premier reassures natural resources sector leaders of a bright future – by Justine Hunter (Globe and Mail – February 2, 2020)

Michael Goehring was in the audience last week when British Columbia’s Premier delivered a mostly upbeat speech to the Natural Resources Forum in Prince George.

Mr. Goehring is president and chief executive officer of the Mining Association of BC, one of the key industries represented – along with oil and gas and forestry – that has been hammered in the past year, and he wanted to hear what Premier John Horgan was going to do to help.

“I have never been more optimistic about B.C.’s future,” the Premier told the conference. Yes, Mr. Horgan acknowledged, there are challenges, particularly in forestry. But he listed off the province’s advantages – a low carbon profile, strong infrastructure, a skilled work force and a commitment to reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. Continue Reading →

Teck CEO accuses Westshore Terminals of overcharging, contaminating cargo – by Danielle Bochove (Bloomberg News – January 30, 2020)

A rift between between Teck Resources Ltd. and the company it uses to export its coal widened as the Vancouver-based miner publicly accused the shipper of charging too much and contaminating some freight.

The head of Teck, already shifting some steel-making coal freight away from Westshore Terminals Investment Corp., said on Wednesday that the export facility had contaminated “dozens” of shipments.

Teck was forced to build its own terminal quickly, before a permit lapsed and its contract with Westshore expired, which drove up capital costs, according to Chief Executive Officer Don Lindsay. Continue Reading →

Economic success stories bust myths about mining and First Nations in B.C. – by Nelson Bennett (Business Investment Vancouver – January 28, 2020)

When it comes to international capital markets and mineral exploration, British Columbia has a perception problem – that the province is a risky place to invest because 110% of its land base is claimed by First Nations.

That’s a perception Corinne McKay, secretary-treasurer of Nisga’a Lisims Government, said she encountered when she attended a mining symposium in London in 2018.

Responding to a question about unsettled land claims in B.C., McKay pointed out that when the Nisga’a signed a treaty nearly 20 years ago, her nation got 7% of its claimed territory as title land, not 100%. Continue Reading →

B.C.’s UNDRIP law a big step, but not necessarily a big change for mining – by Derrick Penner (Vancouver Sun – January 21, 2020)

B.C.’s new law on living up to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is a big development, but it shouldn’t change much about how mining exploration happens in the province.

The legislation writes into law the requirement that government seek informed, prior consent of First Nations on resource development, but “I bet you recognize in industry, you’ve been doing this for a long time,” a senior civil servant, Doug Caul, told the Association for Mineral Exploration Roundup conference in Vancouver.

Caul, deputy minister of Indigenous relations and reconciliation, said resource developers have already been following the guidance set by court decisions on respecting Aboriginal rights and title and putting in the upfront work to build relationships with Indigenous communities. Continue Reading →

Mines Minister Mungall addresses a B.C. mining exploration sector facing challenges – by Derrick Penner (Vancouver Sun – January 20, 2020)

Energy and Mines Minister Michelle Mungall greeted a mining-exploration sector that is looking for more certainty, clarity and speed from government on permitting its activities as she helped open its annual convention in Vancouver on Monday.

Mungall is “a fabulous supporter” of mining, said Kendra Johnston, CEO of the Association of Mineral Exploration B.C., but exploration firms need certainty around the timeliness of permits and consistency around permit requirements. “Government is well aware of the issues industry has been having,” Johnston said.

Mungall, along with Paul Lefebvre, the federal parliamentary secretary for natural resources, helped open the Association for Mineral Exploration’s 2020 Roundup convention, which brings together more than 5,000 delegates from industry, government and First Nations for one of the biggest technical conferences on mining exploration in Canada. Continue Reading →

OPINION: B.C.’s gas-pipeline protest will end in a whimper, not a bang – by Gary Mason (Globe and Mail – January 10, 2020)

While uncertainty surrounds the final outcome of a blockade that has halted construction of an important natural gas pipeline in northern B.C., be assured that the protest by a small group of Indigenous leaders and environmental activists has zero chance of jeopardizing completion of the project.

There is simply too much at stake, not the least of which is Canada’s international reputation for resource development – which is not great as it is.

The rest of Canada has become inured to environmental confrontations in British Columbia. There is a long, sharp history of them, one that continues to shape the nature and scope of the crusades we are witnessing today. They have become intertwined more recently with court decisions that have handed Indigenous groups more power than they’ve ever known. Continue Reading →

Teck Resources coal deal with Ridley raises concerns about rival Westshore – by David Berman (Globe and Mail – January 9, 2020)

Teck Resources Ltd. has struck a deal with Ridley Terminals Inc. to double, and perhaps triple, its shipments of steel-making coal through Prince Rupert, B.C., sending the shares of rival Westshore Terminals Investment Corp. to their lowest levels since 2016.

The deal, announced by Teck on Wednesday, will run from January, 2021, to December, 2021, and will increase its coal shipments through Ridley from a capacity of three million tonnes a year to six million tonnes. Teck has the option to further increase this volume to a capacity of nine million tonnes, effectively tripling the company’s current shipments.

The diversified mining company, based in Vancouver, has overhauled parts of its steel-making coal operations in recent months as it attempts to reduce costs. In December, Canadian National Railway Co. won a five-year contract long held by rival Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. to haul Teck’s B.C.-mined coal to West Coast ports – boosting CN’s annual revenue by as much as $250-million. Continue Reading →

Make Prince Rupert the New Hong Kong in Canada – by Peter Scholz (The Epoch Times – December 1, 2019)

Peter Scholz MCIP PMP is a Professional Land Planner in Arviat, Nunavut, Canada.

A century ago, when Canada’s prime ministers were visionaries and not bank-appointed aspirants of positive branding, our founding fathers dreamed of a Canada with three major ports on the West Coast.

The first would be near the southern border and guard the Dominion from the South: Vancouver. The second would be near the southern border of Alaska, either Seward or Prince Rupert, and guard us from the North. The third would be a smaller port and serve the Yukon and Stikine: Skagway, which the Americans managed to convince an international mediator to give to Alaska.

Charles Melville Hays died on the Titanic. He was the magnate and visionary who made it his task to mirror the Canadian Pacific Railway/Vancouver success with the Grand Trunk Railway (later the Canadian National)/Prince Rupert pairing). Continue Reading →

Ottawa should watch and learn as B.C. is about to become a testing ground for Indigenous rights – Editorial (Globe and Mail – November 25, 2019)

British Columbia is about to become the first place in Canada to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People.

The NDP provincial government in late October introduced a bill that calls on it, working with Indigenous people, to “take all measures necessary” to align the laws of B.C. with UNDRIP. The UN passed the declaration and its 46 articles as a non-binding resolution in 2007. The B.C. bill is on track to become law as soon as this week.

And yet it is still not clear what UNDRIP in B.C. law will mean, or what the consequences will be. There are concerns about the phrase “free, prior and informed consent” in a number of articles in the declaration – including around resource development. The meaning of consent is undefined and the impact is difficult to predict. This page has previously expressed these worries, but there may be a silver lining in B.C.’s move to codify the declaration. Continue Reading →

B.C. should demand miners pay cleanup costs up front: Indigenous study (Canadian Press/CTV News – November 7, 2019)

VANCOUVER — A report is urging British Columbia to get better financial guarantees that mining companies will pay for the mess they make. The First Nations who commissioned the study say that if the government doesn’t do it, they will.

“There’s clearly a recognition by the government and the courts that we have ownership and lands and we have jurisdiction and authority,” said Allen Edzerza of the B.C. First Nations Energy and Mining Council. “What this report is suggesting is that maybe they should exercise some of that authority.”

The province is reviewing the rules by which it ensures that taxpayers aren’t stuck with the costs of cleaning up or caring for abandoned mines. The report points to several recent examples of the government being left to pay the costs, including at least $500,000 at one old gold mine. Continue Reading →