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.

 

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

Just Posted

Creating accessible art in unusual places

Phase two of Art Alleries in the works for Revelstoke

Glimpses of Revelstoke’s past for Feb. 13

120 years ago: Revelstoke Herald, Feb. 13, 1900 Ten Revelstoke men left… Continue reading

What’s in a name? The story of Mt. Begbie

It’s likely the iconic Revelstoke peak had several Indigenous peoples’ names before settlers arrived

Celebrating more than the love of fresh powder at Revelstoke Mountain Resort today

Couples married or renewed their vows for free on Feb. 14

Kelowna’s Family YMCA opens doors on Family Day

The entire day was free for the community

Canucks acquire forward Tyler Toffoli from Kings in push for playoffs

Vancouver sends Schaller, Madden, pick to L.A.

South Okanagan woman reflects on prestigious win at Westminster dog show

“Polly” the Scottish deerhound was crowned best in breed and reserve best hound.

RCMP report woman arrested after ramming police cruiser

Suspect wanted for crimes allegedly committed in Kelowna, Salmon Arm and 100 Mile House

New highway proposed between Alberta and B.C.

The route would connect Red Deer to Kamloops

Wet’suwet’en and B.C. government have been talking Aboriginal title for a year

Coastal GasLink says it has agreements with all 20 elected First Nations councils along the 670-kilometre route

Trudeau tightlipped on plan to end protests ‘quickly and peacefully’

The prime minister, who cancelled a two-day trip to Barbados this week to deal with the crisis at home

B.C. budget expected to stay the course as economic growth moderates

Finance minister said ICBC costs have affected budget

Canadian standards for coronavirus protection to be reviewed, health agency says

The protocols set out how health workers should protect themselves and their patients

Most Read