The dramatic revival of mining in British Columbia was underlined today with the release of exploration spending figures for 2010 that were more than double the amount for 2009.
Speaking at Mineral Roundup 2011, Minister of State for Mining Randy Hawes revealed $322-million was spent on mineral exploration last year. This represents the third-highest total in the province’s history and a 109 per cent increase on the $154-million spent in 2009. By way of comparison, in 1999 mining exploration expenditures were only $25 million.
“This is a remarkable turnaround for the mining industry, which shows continued steady growth from the lows of the 1990s,” said Hawes, who also proclaimed this week Mineral Exploration Week in British Columbia.
“Policies put in place by this government have helped give the minerals sector the resilience to withstand the economic downturn that we’ve experienced recently, providing thousands of high-paying jobs in all corners of the province.”
In addition to exploration spending, the mining industry invested more than $1 billion last year expanding existing operations and developing new mines in B.C. Exploration and mine development investments are both key indicators of mining’s future.
“This year’s figures are representative of the increased drilling and sampling that is required to find and build tomorrow’s mines for the benefit of all British Columbians,” said Gavin Dirom, president and chief executive of the Association for Mineral Exploration British Columbia.
“Perhaps the greatest indicator of mining’s excellent health is the development of new mines,” said Hawes. “These figures suggest a very bright future for mining, and the provincial government will continue to provide an attractive investment climate to attract new mine development.”
Along with the construction and mine development underway at Copper
Mountain, New Afton and Mt. Milligan mines in 2010, there were also
major mine expansions at Endako, Gibraltar, Highland Valley Copper and
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