The B.C. government is making two mining tax credits permanent, to attract investment to the industry, Premier John Horgan says.
Horgan made the announcement Monday at the Association of Mineral Exploration’s roundup 2019 in Vancouver. It is “something the previous government would not do,” and is part of the NDP government’s mining jobs task force to strengthen the industry, Horgan said.
“We are pleased that the provincial government is living up to their commitment to support the mineral exploration and mining industry and its future in this province,” said Edie Thome, CEO of the AME. “This is a major step to building a sustainable and strong mining industry – one that all British Columbians can be proud of.”
The industry is struggling with low metal prices, particularly copper. Imperial Metals announced earlier this month that due to declining copper prices, it is suspending operations at the Mount Polley mine east of Williams Lake, affecting about 250 union and non-union employees by the end of May.
The mine intends to carry on with its ongoing environmental monitoring and remediation following the 2014 tailings dam failure that spilled mine waste into the Quesnel Lake watershed. Milling low-grade stockpiles of ore-bearing rock is expected to keep operations going until spring.
The task force’s final report was submitted to the B.C. government in December, and further announcements are expected in the provincial budget in February.
“Over the last few years the mining sector has faced sobering challenges, including a tailings dam failure and ongoing water quality issues, said Alan Young director of the Materials Efficiency Research Group. “The mining jobs task force report lays a framework with potential to address many of these challenges and build a more responsible, inclusive and competitive sector that is responsive to industry, Indigenous peoples, government, communities and civil society.
The mining flow-through tax credit is a non-refundable credit for individuals who buy flow-through shares in a B.C. mining company. The mining exploration tax credit is a refundable credit for eligible individuals and corporations conducting grassroots mineral exploration in B.C., worth 20 or 30 per cent of qualified exploration expenditures.