Plan for developing Bonanza Ledge mine near Barkerville uses spiral tunnel to reach gold below existing pit.

Signs of spring for B.C. mining industry

Gold projects at Barkerville and in the northwest moving ahead, as metal prices and steelmaking demand revive in Asia

The pending return of mining to Barkerville and an uptick of demand for iron ore in Asia are signs that the worldwide commodity slump may be coming to an end, says B.C. Energy and Mines Minister Bill Bennett.

In an interview after last week’s Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada convention in Toronto, Bennett said construction and steelmaking in China are key indicators of demand for metallurgical coal from Kootenay and South Peace mines, which have cut production due to poor international demand and low prices.

“I went there expecting the same as last year, with everyone being pessimistic, and instead I actually thought there was a fair bit of optimism, particularly for B.C.,” he said.

Bennett met with representatives of Barkerville Gold Mines Ltd., which plans to build an underground mine the historic region of the Cariboo gold rush of the 1860s. The company has reorganized, paid its debt and raised enough money to get the project into production this year, he said.

Barkerville Gold has been accumulating properties in the Cariboo since 1994. Its plan is to develop three sites, starting with the Bonanza Ledge mine at Barkerville Mountain, two kilometres northwest of the historic townsite from the placer mining boom.

Brucejack, an underground gold mine north-west of Smithers that was permitted last year, is also moving ahead.

“He’s got about 400 people working there now and he’s going to have 500 as the snow goes down,” Bennett said. “That’s as many people as are working at Site C. It’s happening out of sight, out of mind so nobody knows about it.”

 

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

Just Posted

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

Celebrations continue for Tsilhqot’in Nation after court victory against Taskeo Mines Ltd.

Supreme Court of Canada upholds 2014 decision rejecting New Prosperity mine on May 14, 2020

UPDATE: body of missing man located

Jerret Snow was last seen May 19

Schools preparing for optional part-time classes for students

Parents will have the choice whether or not to return their children to class

Trudeau to seek 10 days of paid sick leave for Canadian workers, says talks are ongoing

Paid sick leave is key to keeping COVID-19 spread under control, prime minister says

Eight people arrested in Victoria homeless camp after enforcement order issued

Those living in tents were given until May 20 to move indoors

Andrew Weaver says he was ready to defeat John Horgan government

Independent MLA blasts B.C. Greens over LNG opposition

44% fewer passengers flew on Canadian airlines in March 2020 than in 2019

COVID-19 pandemic has hit airlines hard as travel remains low

Commercial rent relief applications open as feds encourage landlords to apply

Program would see government cover 50 per cent of the rent

COVID-19: B.C. park reservations surge as campgrounds reopen

Keep trying, many sites not reservable, George Heyman says

B.C. residents can now reserve a provincial campsite for a stay starting June 1

Campsite reservations will only be available to British Columbians

Cullen commission into money laundering in British Columbia resumes today

Inquiry was called amid growing concern that illegal cash was helping fuel real estate, luxury car and gambling

Bike shops busier than ever, but owners worry about stock supply issues

Uptick in cyclists brings new challenges for shops

Most Read