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

Over $650,00 given to rural communities thanks to Rural Dividends

Five communities, including Williams Lake, are receiving $10,000 for project grants

Pregnant Cariboo firefighter tries to save own house from blaze

Julia Flinton and Anthony Sellars both worked on the 2017 wildfires

Road report for Highway 20

Fog patches and slippery sections; Drive BC

Woman killed in head-on crash near Vanderhoof

RCMP say driver crossed the centre line and hit a loaded fuel tanker truck

Mining company prospecting for gold near Bella Coola

Gold discovered in alpine areas where glaciers are receding

B.C. opioid crisis to get same world-renowned treatment approach as HIV/AIDS

A program that focuses on treatment as prevention will roll out Jan. 17

Olympian snowboarder Max Parrot diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Each year in Canada, approximately 900 people are diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma

‘Prince of Pot’ Marc Emery accused of sexual assault, harassment

Emery denied the allegations, but a Toronto woman says she is not the only one speaking out

Vancouver Island photographer makes National Geographic’s 2018 elite

Rare double honour for Marston from the 36 best Your Shots out of nearly 19,000 photos

Ex-Liberal candidate in Burnaby, B.C., says volunteer wrote controversial post

Karen Wang dropped out following online post singling out NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh’s ethnicity

Asteroids are smacking Earth twice as often as before

The team counted 29 craters that were no older than 290 million years

Canada’s arrest of Huawei exec an act of ‘backstabbing,’ Chinese ambassador says

China has called Canada’s arrest of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou ‘politically motivated’

Port authority imposes ban on development around Lelu Island

Following Pacific Northwest LNG, there will be no future projects proposed near Flora Bank

In limbo: Leftover embryos challenge clinics, couples

Some are outright abandoned by people who quit paying storage fees and other couples struggle with tough decisions

Most Read