Michael Goehring, President of the Mining Association of B.C. (Submitted photo)

Michael Goehring, President of the Mining Association of B.C. (Submitted photo)

OPINION: Mining is a high tech industry

May was Mining Month in British Columbia, an important time to recognize the contribution of the industry in communities across B.C., including Vanderhoof, which has supported British Columbia’s mining sector for decades, including projects like the Kemess Mine.

Vanderhoof, with a population of just over 4,500 people is home to 20 companies that supplied $2.2 Million worth of goods and services to thirteen major operating mines in 2017.

Provincewide, B.C.’s mining industry relied on more than $1.35 billion worth of goods and services from 3,000 mining suppliers located in 125 municipalities and indigenous communities. These thirteen mines are responsible for supporting economic activity in the Vanderhoof — economic activity that is critical to thousands of business owners, workers and their families in communities across B.C.

Over 30,000 British Columbians are employed directly or indirectly by the B.C. mining industry, many in Vanderhoof. Of note, the average annual pay for a worker in the mining industry exceeds $115,000 — higher than forestry, manufacturing, finance or construction. Jobs in the mining sector continue to be more diverse, higher skilled and better compensated, due in part to the increasing role that technology plays in the sector.

British Columbians have every reason to be proud of our province’s high-tech mining industry for the key role it plays in our economy, and its contribution in advancing our collective role in the global transition to a lower-carbon economy.

As Canada’s largest producer of copper and steelmaking coal, our mines help provide the copper for electric cars, and the steelmaking coal required to build green infrastructure like wind turbines. Thanks to B.C.’s abundant clean energy, our copper and steelmaking coal are produced with some of the lowest GHG emissions in the world.

British Columbia’s miners have long been innovators and today’s mines are no exception. Technology is enabling our mines to use less, conserve more, and increase the safety and productivity of our operations.

B.C. mining companies are using autonomous vehicles and sensors to keep workers out of hazardous environments, reduce carbon emissions and increase operational effectiveness by utilizing highly engineered technology, applications and artificial intelligence that ensure B.C.’s modern mines are digitally connected and optimized.

Drone technology is being used to provide real-time aerial footage for mine site maintenance, monitoring and emergency response, while at the same time GPS technology is supporting precision drilling. Furthermore, consultation with communities and Indigenous nations is being enhanced with virtual reality by allowing the 3D visualization of mine sites.

While the story of B.C.’s growing high tech sector is also a story about mining, it is important not to lose sight that mining industry needs a clear, consistent and coordinated regulatory framework that supports industry innovation and investment.

MABC continues to work with government, local and Indigenous communities and labour to improve our province’s competitiveness and attractiveness as a world class mining jurisdiction. B.C. is built on mining and MABC is dedicated to ensuring that Vanderhoof continues to benefit from a sustainable and growing mining industry, as it has for decades.

Since 1901, the Mining Association of British Columbia has been the voice and advocate for B.C.’s mining industry.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A groundbreaking ceremony for Cluculz Lake’s new fire hall will take place Tuesday, June 22. The current fire hall is able to only store one apparatus. (Photo submitted)
New fire hall on the way for Cluculz Lake

Approximate $950,000 facility anticipated to be completed by this fall

A cell tower is pictured in rural Ontario on Wednesday, July 15, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick)
Connected future for Saik’uz First Nation

Cellular tower to be constructed by Telus within the community

Nechako River. (Aman Parhar/Omineca Express)
So far so good, but officials keeping tabs on Nechako River streamflow

Vanderhoof Mayor said typically if there is flooding, it occurs toward the end of May and early June

Fishers prefer landscapes with large areas of connected forest, said the Forest Practices Board. (Loney Dickson photo)
Logging continuing to impact fisher habitat in B.C.

Forest Practices Board concludes investigation near Bobtail Mountain Provincial Park

Cariboo North MLA Coralee Oakes shared this photo of the binders and binders of letters and paperwork she’s received on area roads in the past few years. (Submitted photo)
Cariboo MLAs call on province to fix region’s roads

Minister Rob Fleming said more resources were on the way to the region

A bullet hole is seen in the windshield of an RCMP vehicle approximately 4 km from Vancouver International Airport after a one person was killed during a shooting outside the international departures terminal at the airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Homicide team IDs man in fatal YVR shooting as police grapple with spate of gang violence

Man, 20, charged in separate fatal shooting Burnaby over the weekend

Kelowna resident Sally Wallick helped rescue a kayaker in distress a week and a half ago. (Sally Wallick/Contributed)
VIDEO: Kelowna woman rescues capsized kayaker in Okanagan Lake

Sally Wallick is asking people to be prepared for the cold water and unpredictable winds

Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about phase two in B.C.’s COVID-19 immunization plan. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
All of B.C. will eventually ease out of COVID-19 restrictions at same time: Henry

People who have received two doses of a vaccine can’t yet return to post-pandemic activities with each other, she says

Winnipeg Jets’ Andrew Copp (9) and Edmonton Oilers goaltender Mike Smith (41) watch an incoming shot during second period NHL action in Winnipeg, Monday, April 26, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Greenslade
‘Very jealous’: Canadian teams can’t take advantage of NHL’s relaxed COVID-19 rules

League eased some tight COVID-19 health and safety protocols over the weekend for fully vaccinated clubs

A map of Huu-ay-aht-owned forestry cutblock. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
B.C. First Nations restrict access to territory in wake of forestry standoffs

Huu-ay-aht set up checkpoints after heated and dangerous incidents on southwest Vancouver Island

RCMP are searching for Philip Toner, who is a ‘person of interest’ in the investigation of a suspicious death in Kootenay National Park last week. Photo courtesy BC RCMP.
RCMP identify ‘person of interest’ in Kootenay National Park suspicious death

Police are looking for Philip Toner, who was known to a woman found dead near Radium last week

Vancouver Canucks goaltender Thatcher Demko (35) makes a save on Winnipeg Jets’ Nate Thompson (11) during second period NHL action in Winnipeg, Monday, May 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Greenslade
Vancouver Canucks see NHL playoff hopes dashed despite 3-1 win over Winnipeg

Montreal Canadiens earn final North Division post-season spot

The B.C. legislature went from 85 seats to 87 before the 2017 election, causing a reorganization with curved rows and new desks squeezed in at the back. The next electoral boundary review could see another six seats added. (Black Press files)
B.C. election law could add 6 seats, remove rural protection

North, Kootenays could lose seats as cities gain more

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the shooting of an Indigenous woman in the Ucluelet First Nation community of Hitacu. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. First Nation wants ‘massive change’ after its 3rd police shooting in less than a year

Nuu-chah-nulth woman recovering from gunshot wounds in weekend incident near Ucluelet

Most Read