As commodities prices including precious metals were plummetting Thursday on more bad economic news, the Premier of British Columbia provided a glimmer of hope for the BC mining industry.
In unveiling the province’s job-creation strategy, Clark said the government plans to capitalize on high demand for minerals, especially in Asia, by opening up eight new mines in the next four years and expanding nine more by 2015:
“If government can get out of the way and ease the process as much as possible for mines to get going in BC, our goals can be reality, I have no question about it,” reported News1130.
The Province reported Clark saying the mining activity should generate annual revenues of $1.6 billion, create 8,000 mining jobs and sustain 5,000 existing jobs:
“I think we are poised on the cusp of something huge for British Columbia. The future of the world is in Asia, that’s the future, and there is only one province in Canada that faces Asia,” said Clark.
The premier did not reveal any details as to which mines would open nor the commodities.
The BC Jobs Plan was applauded by the Mining Association of BC for committing almost $24 million to natural resources ministries with a goal of reducing the time it takes to get decisions on approvals and permits — without compromising environmental standards.
“The mining industry is very encouraged to see government investing in its internal resources which allow private sector economic activity to occur,” said John McManus, Chair of the Mining Association of BC.