Mineral exploration expands by 47% in BC

Mineral exploration in British Columbia set a second consecutive year of record investments with $680 million spent during 2012, said Premier Christy Clark today in a public announcement.

"British Columbia is blessed with an abundant supply of the resources the world needs and the most innovative mining and exploration sectors," said Clark. "This past year, we've seen the confidence [companies] have in B.C. as exploration is up 47 per cent."

Clark was speaking to professionals in Vancouver at Mineral Exploration Roundup 2013, a technical mineral exploration conference with about 6,000 participants from around the world.

She also announced the province will spend $7 million to increase competitiveness, reduce backlog and create a more efficient permit process.

The money will be put towards permitting for water, land and mining exploration, better processing times and reducing the average turnaround for 'notice of work' applications, thereby supporting sustainable resource development and job creation. In February 2013, the provincial government will shift to electronic applications for BC's natural resources related authorizations.

"We want those investments, which support families and communities, to continue, and we are showing our confidence by eliminating needless delays so the industry can create more well-paying jobs," Clark said.

The province's investment is part of the BC Jobs Plan. The strategy includes expanding nine mines and opening eight additional mines by 2015. It is expected to generate an increase of mine-operation revenue estimated at $1.6 billion per year once the projects are fully operational, as well as create about 2,000 new jobs because of longer mine lives.

Image: BC Government