Helicopter maps mineral potential in remote areas using magnetic imaging.

Help offered to struggling mining industry

Northwest mineral survey released, Premier Christy Clark promises BC Hydro payment relief for struggling mining industry

The B.C. government has released the first phase of its aerial survey of mineral deposits in a largely unexplored region of northwest B.C.

GeoscienceBC, a non-profit established by the province a decade ago to stimulate mining activity in areas affected by the mountain pine beetle epidemic, released data from an area from Smithers south to Kitimat and east to Houston. Maps of geological formations are constructed from magnetic surveys done by helicopter.

The results were released Tuesday at the Association for Mineral Exploration B.C. Roundup conference in Vancouver. Energy and Mines Minister Bill Bennett said the project is assembling the largest geoscience database in B.C. history, with much more precision than an earlier survey in the 1960s.

The next phase will be be to the east, from Houston to the Vanderhoof area. The region has had little surface prospecting because it is covered with glacial deposits from the last ice age.

“There are Highland Valley copper deposits out there,” Bennett said. “There are Brucejack gold deposits out there. There are huge zinc, silver, lead deposits out there. They’ve been found before in B.C.”

With mining investment stalled by low commodity prices and some existing operations shut down, Premier Christy Clark opened the conference by announcing a plan to let mining companies defer their BC Hydro bills to keep operating. The bills would have to be paid later with interest, when metal and coal prices recover.

The association released its own study before the conference, detailing that more than half of the province is either off limits to mineral exploration or restricted. Some of that is from parks or protected areas, while other areas are subject to land use plans the association described as “overlapping and sometimes ambiguous.”

Bennett said he appreciates the reminder about land restrictions, which he described as difficult to change even when wildlife habitat or other circumstances have changed since restrictions were imposed.

The industry also has to accept that public and First Nations expectations have changed greatly in recent years, and mining has to adapt to that reality, he said.

 

Just Posted

VIDEO: Explorers uncover Canada’s deepest cave in Fernie

The cave, named Bisaro Anima, was confirmed to have broken the record on New Year’s Day

New Glade ferry enters testing phase

The Glade II will be able to carry heavier loads and will emit less greenhouse gases.

Freezing rain warning in effect for B.C. Southern Interior

Environment Canada issued the freezing rain warning for most of the Southern Interior Tuesday morning

Rumble In The Rockies brings live boxing back to Fernie

Local boxer, Dylan Mitchell takes first career win at home

Smiles all around as province announces emergency ward funding

$2.1 million to go to much-needed upgrades

Solitary-confinement veto a chance to address mental health: advocate

B.C. Supreme Court made the landmark ruling Wednesday

Winter storm coming to B.C. this weekend

The bets are on as to how much snow the province will actually get in the coming days

B.C. civil rights group files complaint about RCMP arrest of man who later died

Dale Culver, a 35-year-old Indigenous man was arrested in Prince George last July

Lawyer says former B.C. government aide ‘barely guilty’ in ethnic vote scandal

Brian Bonney pleaded guilty to a breach of trust charge

Quite a few tears as homemade quilts distributed to residents of Ashcroft Reserve, Boston Flats affected by last summer’s fire

Quilters in B.C. and Alberta worked through the summer and fall to create more than 100 quilts.

Island Health: No need for alarm in wake of Victoria needle-prick incidents

Three incidents in a week prompts meeting between health authority, city service providers

B.C. coast loggers celebrate history, hope for improvement

Truck Loggers Association awaits B.C. NDP government’s new direction

Global Affairs aware of report of two Canadians kidnapped in Nigeria

The foreigners were heading south from Kafanchan to Abuja when they were ambushed around Kagarko

Whistler role in potential Calgary Olympic bid would be welcome: IOC

Calgary is mulling whether to vie for the 2026 Games, and could look to facilities in B.C.

Most Read