Boom expected for B.C. mining in 2012

B.C.’s $8.6-billion mining industry had reason to celebrate Mining Week, May 13-19.

B.C.’s $8.6-billion mining industry had reason to celebrate Mining Week, May 13-19. Employment, revenue, exports, production and prices are all up over previous years and are in a position to continue rising.

The boom is being fuelled by a global recovery in manufacturing, in particular, the strong demand from Asia.

Mining Week is hosted by the Mining Association of British Columbia, which represents the collective needs of B.C.’s operating coal, metal and mineral mining companies. Currently, B.C. has nine metal mines and 10 coal mines in operation.

The government’s goal to have eight new mines and nine expansions continues to move forward. The anticipated results are:

* A $1.6-billion increase in annual mine-operation revenue.

* Approximately 2,000 construction jobs.

* 2,000 new direct jobs and 3,000 indirect jobs.

* To sustain 12,500 existing jobs (5,000 direct and 7,500 indirect).

* Over $150 million annually in government revenue.

In addition to the Copper Mountain Mine, which began production last year, two new major metal mines are now under construction and recently two more received permits. Construction for both is scheduled to start later this year. Since the Jobs Plan was announced, the Province has approved five major expansions of existing mines.

Mining is a cornerstone of our economy. It takes place in every region of the province and ranges from small, one-person operations to multi-million dollar-investment projects.

Every British Columbian uses almost 23,000 kilograms (about 50,000 pounds) of mined products each year. When you brush your teeth, turn on a light, drive a car, ride your bike, put on the television, use a camera or telephone – you are supporting the mining industry.

Mining contributes hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue that help pay for government services like health care and education.

In 2011, more than 29,000 people were employed in B.C.’s mineral exploration, mining and related sectors, mostly in rural British Columbia.

Rich Coleman, Minister of Energy and Mines said, “Mining week celebrates the importance of one of B.C.’s vital industries. The industry supports 29,000 jobs, and is creating more for B.C. families, and provides opportunities for businesses. All of this helps fund health care, education and other important essential public services that British Columbians depend on.”

In 2011, the mining industry increased its value by 20 per cent from the year before to approximately $8.6 billion.

B.C. produces and exports a significant amount of metallurgical coal, copper, gold, silver, lead, zinc, molybdenum and industrial minerals every year.

In 2010, B.C. produced 196 million kilograms of copper valued at $1.4 billion, or enough to use in more than one million homes.

B.C. is one of the world’s largest exporters of seaborne metallurgical coal. Metallurgical coal is used in the production of steel.