Engineering & Mining Journal

APR 2019

Engineering and Mining Journal - Whether the market is copper, gold, nickel, iron ore, lead/zinc, PGM, diamonds or other commodities, E&MJ takes the lead in projecting trends, following development and reporting on the most efficient operating pr

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www.e-mj.com E&MJ • APRIL 2019 57 MINING IN BRITISH COLUMBIA AND YUKON Exploration in BC, Yukon and Canada's North B.C. mining enters an era of reconciliation At the Association of Mineral Exploration's (AME) Roundup 2019 conference, Premier John Horgan emphasized the British Columbia government's commitment to its mining industry. Horgan vowed to make the Mining Flow-Through Share Tax Credit and the B.C. Mining Exploration Tax Credit permanent, and also outlined plans to invest C$2 million in developing a road map for innovation and expanding the BC Regional Mining Alliance (BCRMA). The focus of industry players on reconciliation and collaboration led to the creation of the BCRMA, a partnership between the provin- cial government, the Tahltan central government, the Nisga'a Lisims government, the AME, Dolly Varden Silver Corp., Skeena Resources Ltd. and GT Gold Corp. The target is to develop a culture of support amongst all actors from permitting to mine closure. The BCRMA represents industry players in the Golden Triangle, a region in Northwest B.C. that has a 150-year mining history. Rich in gold, silver, zinc, copper, lead and molybdenum, the area covers nearly 25% of the province. With strong road connectivity, three new run-of-river hydroelectric facilities and the completion of the North- west Transmission Line, which provides miners access to the power grid rather than relying on diesel, the industry is strongly positioned for development. "Projects that were generally diesel-powered now have a chance to plug into US$0.04-kWh electricity. The far north will get serious amounts of snow, but the flip side is that we have a very supportive government, and local communities understand min- ing. The Tahltan and the Nisga'a, who are south of us, are dream partners in terms of their understanding of mining," said Walter Coles, president and CEO of Skeena Resources. The intent is to ensure that companies not only take from the land, but also share and give back to communities. B.C. is working on its image in order to convey that the province is open for business and able to support mining companies wanting to move into produc- tion. It hopes to increase transparency and public confidence while advancing reconciliation with indigenous groups. "Perception plays a key role in attracting investment, so building on the successes of the BCRMA will help address any concerns directly," explained Edie Thome, president and CEO of AME. Lengthy permitting processes have certainly dissuaded some from entering B.C., but these efforts ensure that communities benefit. "We must also remember that this province is the largest employer of in- digenous peoples, and they play a paramount role in developing the mining industry in B.C.," said Bryan Cox, president and CEO of the Mining Association of B.C. (MABC). Only a select few of B.C.'s indigenous groups have established treaties with the government. Chad Day, president of the Tahltan nation, is trying to modify the online staking program that the gov- ernment administers for companies wanting to enter their land: "Through this system people from all over the world are allowed to stake claims in our territory. We receive notifications of the permits and can then provide feedback or concerns," said Day. RAB drilling. Photo courtesy of White Gold Corp.

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