Archive | British Columbia Mining

Mining giant’s historic penalty prompts environmentalists to call for stricter coal-mining rules – by Mike Hager (Globe and Mail – March 28, 2021)

A $60-million penalty to Teck Coal underscores the urgent need for B.C. to adopt stricter coal-mining regulations in line with American states downstream of the same valley where four large projects have been proposed, according to the University of Victoria’s Environmental Law Centre and a binational coalition of environmental groups.

Last Friday, a Federal Court judge approved the largest Fisheries Act penalty ever for the subsidiary of Teck Resources after the mining giant put forward a joint submission with Environment and Climate Change Canada stating it contaminated waterways in southeastern B.C.’s Elk Valley with selenium – a natural element that washes out of piles of waste rock and moves up the food chain to cause deformities in fish and ruin their ability to reproduce.

The judge commended Teck as a good corporate citizen for spending $1-billion since the pollution was first uncovered by federal inspectors in 2012 and for co-operating to avoid a costly court case that would likely become the longest environmental lawsuit in Canadian history. Continue Reading →

B.C. mining laws raise questions as province looks to implement UN declaration – by Brenda Owen (CTV/Canadian Press – March 28, 2021)

VANCOUVER — The relationships between Indigenous nations and British Columbia’s mining sector are set to change as the province works to match its laws with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Mining Minister Bruce Ralston says B.C.’s “formal relations” with Indigenous nations and their participation in the sector are already a “strong asset” for companies and investors considering mineral operations in the province.

“Investors are looking for signs that things are being done right, things are being done fairly,” he told a news conference earlier this month. Continue Reading →

B.C. mining innovation road map launched – by Nelson Bennett (Business In Vancouver – March 15, 2021)

Problems posed by mining drives high-tech sector innovation

The B.C. government and Mining Association of BC today unveiled a new Mining Innovation Roadmap that aims to tap Vancouver’s high-tech expertise and B.C.’s abundant clean energy to make mining in B.C.cleaner, greener and more productive.

Today is officially Mining Day in B.C. The B.C. government used the occasion to invite B.C.’s mining industry representatives to meet with government and opposition leaders virtually to promote the progress they have made to date.

The mining sector has already provided a catalyst for companies like Saltworks and MineSense to develop engineering solutions to some of the problems the mining sector faces. The new road map aims to build on that synergy. Continue Reading →

Alaska-B.C. mine rivers generally healthy: state-province joint report – by Jeremy Hainsworth (Business In Vancouver – February 25, 2021)

A four-year study of Alaska-B.C. rivers associated with mining activity – spurred by U.S. and Canadian complaints about environmental threats – has concluded there aren’t risks to marine habitat.

People on both sides in the Alaska Panhandle region, including at least one U.S. senator, had complained to then U.S. President Barack Obama’s secretary of state John Kerry that discharges associated with B.C. mines such as the Red Chris, KSM and New Polaris Mine were leaching materials into ocean waters and threatening fisheries.

While the concerns date back many years, it was the 2014 collapse of the Mount Polley mine tailings dam, which sent a torrent of 25 million cubic metres of water and mine slurry into nearby creeks, that intensified calls for border mine discharges to be examined. Continue Reading →

MINING THE HEART OF THE CONTINENT – by Randal Macnair ( – February 18, 2021)


The Rocky Mountains are one of the most iconic and biologically significant mountain ranges in the world. Stretching almost 5,000 kilometres from northern British Columbia to the arid reaches of the US Southwest, these spectacular mountains support a vast array of species and provide an essential corridor to maintain genetic diversity for grizzly bears throughout the continent.

Near the geographic centre of the Rockies is the region often referred to as the Crown of the Continent, an ecosystem that straddles international and provincial borders. So significant is this region that part of it has been declared a Unesco Biosphere Reserve.

In this heart of the Rockies a story of two divergent approaches to resource extraction is taking place. The players are the provinces of British Columbia and Alberta and this story has a twist. The people of Alberta are saying enough is enough while British Columbia is full speed ahead. Continue Reading →

Red tape hurts investment in Canada – by Walter Cobb (The Province – February 18, 2021)

Walter Cobb is a former BC Liberal MLA (Cariboo South, 2001-2005) and now is in his third term as mayor of Williams Lake (population 10,700).

Red tape and I don’t get along very well at all. And it’s not good for my city, my region, my province or the country as a whole.

Our region and province are very dependent on resources, whether it be agriculture or forestry or mining.

Mining is a big part of our community, starting with the Barkerville Gold Rush in B.C.’s Cariboo region around 1860. But now we have red tape throttling development. Continue Reading →

Smithers consultant wins 2021 Skookum Jim Award – by Rebecca Dyok (The Interior News – February 11, 2021)


A Tahltan woman is being nationally recognized for her efforts in improving the environmental assessment process by combining Indigenous traditional knowledge with Western science.

Nalaine Morin has been awarded the 2021 Skookum Jim Award by the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC).

Named after the group’s Indigenous leader who discovered the Yukon Klondike goldfields, the award recognizes Indigenous achievement in the mineral industry. Continue Reading →

Community rallies to help miner’s family after fatal mudslide at mine near Kamloops – by Tiffany Crawford (Vancouver Sun – February 6, 2021)

Raymond Rosenberg, a miner who died Tuesday after an underground mudslide at New Gold’s New Afton mine, left behind his partner Keisha and four children.

A miner who died earlier this week when a mudslide hit a copper and gold mine near Kamloops left behind his partner and four young children.

Now the community is trying to raise money for the young family after his sudden death. The miner, who has been identified by family as Raymond Rosenberg, is described as a kind and good dad. Continue Reading →

One presumed dead, two injured in accident at B.C. gold mine – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – February 2, 2021)

One person is presumed dead and another two were injured after an accident at a gold mine in interior British Columbia.

New Gold Inc. said in a release that a mud rush occurred at its New Afton underground gold mine west of Kamloops early Tuesday morning and that a contract driller had likely died. Two other individuals suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

The Vancouver-based miner has suspended production at the site while an investigation into the accident is being conducted by the RCMP, B.C.’s Ministry of Mines and the company’s internal team. Continue Reading →

Want to build a mine? Hurry up and wait – by Nelson Bennett (BusinessInVancouver – January 27, 2021)

BC resource ministers concede permitting in BC takes too long

So, you want to spend hundreds of millions of dollars – possibly billions — building a new copper mine in B.C.

First, you may have to spend a few million dollars explaining your plan to relevant First Nations and local communities before you even submit an application for an environmental permit.

That way you’ll know up front whether the province will even accept your application to the Environmental Assessment Agency. Your project may be dead before it is even subjected to an environmental review. Continue Reading →

Opposition rises to Canadian mining plan that poses risk across US border – by Cara McKenna (The Guardian – January 29, 2021)

An international coalition of over 200 Indigenous groups, businesses and environmentalists have announced opposition to a Canadian mining plan that could have far-reaching impacts in the US.

Imperial Metals has applied to the British Columbia government for a five-year exploratory permit to drill for gold around the source waters of the Skagit River, near the US border.

The opponents on both sides of the border argue that if gold exploration and, eventually, mining are permitted in the Skagit headwaters, which flow into Puget Sound in Washington state, pollution could harm local communities and the North Cascades national park. Continue Reading →

Alaska demands action on B.C.’s ‘lax’ mining oversight – by Quinn Bender (Abbotsford News – January 4, 2021)


The United States government has approved US$3.6 million in spending to help Alaska pressure the B.C. government into reforming mining regulations they claim are lax and present an imminent threat to fish and habitat in transboundary watersheds.

On Dec. 21, U.S. Congress approved the Consolidated Appropriations Act for 2021 that included US$3.1 million for the United States Geological Survey (USGS) to expand a 2019 baseline water-quality monitoring program on rivers downstream from B.C. mines.

An allocation of US$500,000 was also approved to shore up involvement of the U.S. Department of State to identify gaps in a memorandum of understanding between B.C. and Alaska, Washington, Idaho, and Montana relating to mining activity in transboundary watersheds. Continue Reading →

The Past and Future Legacy of Windy Craggy – by Bruce Downing and Rick Van Nieuwenhuyse(Resource World – November 18, 2020)

The demise of the Windy Craggy (N’tsi Tatay) Project in far northwestern British Columbia has led to numerous benefits worth more than $1,000,000,000 and enjoyed by many. This is illustrated in the accompanying Legacy Flow Chart.

In 1994 Royal Oak Mines acquired the Windy Craggy deposit and mineral claims from Geddes Resources. Work between 1988 and 1991 included 4,139 metres of underground development and 64,618 metres of drilling in 55 surface and 147 underground diamond drill holes.

Two large massive sulfide zones, termed the North sulfide body (NSB) and South sulfide body (SSB), were outlined and likely a third zone (Ridge Zone) was intersected by drilling. Continue Reading →

Tragic Childhood Paves Path Toward Energy for Indigenous Entrepreneur Chris Sankey – by Gregory John (Energy – August 24, 2020)


When Chris Sankey recalls his childhood, fond memories are intertwined with an inescapable sorrow. The loss of his parents to suicide and cancer, the tragic result of addiction, lack of opportunity and poverty, became the motivation for the 46-year-old father and business owner to change his own family’s future.

“When my parents struggled to pay the bills, put food on the table and clothes on our backs, I felt it immensely,” says Sankey, owner of the Blackfish Group of Companies.

“Their work was seasonal, and the finances didn’t always go where it was needed. I felt helpless and ashamed of what I didn’t have compared to my peers.” Continue Reading →

B.C. committed to regional environmental assessments, but experts warn they might never happen – by Matt Simmons (The Narwhal – November 2, 2020)

The Narwhal

At first glance, northwest B.C. is a vast wild landscape home to big forests, even bigger mountains and rich river systems that cut through the landscape. But looking closer, those forests are criss-crossed with logging roads and punctuated with massive clearcuts.

Many mountains are mined for the minerals within and the watersheds are continually threatened by industrial development. Where the rivers meet the ocean, massive freight ships come and go, delivering goods from overseas and carrying materials like grain, lumber, coal and wood pellets across the Pacific.

The region is subject to a seemingly never-ending stream of proposals for mines, export facilities, processing plants and other industrial developments. The question is: can the ecosystem as a whole sustain all of these projects? Continue Reading →