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Trading Symbol  TSE:CCM

Government Announces New Mining Initiatives To Spur Jobs And Investment

Office of the Premier 
April 21, 1998 

VICTORIA - A series of major new mining initiatives to attract investment and create jobs in the sector, including legislation recognizing the right to mine, were announced today by Premier Glen Clark and Energy and Mines Minister Dan Miller. 

Clark and Miller were joined in the announcement by Gary Livingstone, president of the Mining Association of B.C., Bruce McKnight, executive director of B.C. & Yukon Chamber of Mines, and several key members of the provincial mining industry. 

"These initiatives are taking firm action to make mineral exploration and development an easier and more certain process in this province," said Clark. "The mining sector continues to play a significant role in the economic well-being of British Columbia. We want to secure investor confidence and will continue to work with industry to meet its goal of creating 22,000 new mining-related jobs over the next 10 years." 

"I recognize that over the last few years the mining industry has faced some challenges," said Miller. "But I also know this is a dynamic industry which is vital to our economy, especially in the north and other regions of the province. That's why I am committed to working with industry to ensure it continues to provide jobs and economic opportunities for British Columbians. These initiatives are part of that commitment." 

After consulting with industry, labor, other government ministries and stakeholders for the past two years, the new mining initiatives include: 
The Mining Rights Amendment Act, recognizing the right to mine, and assuring access to mineral tenures, right to compensation when tenures are expropriated for parks, and timely permitting; 
The Mineral Exploration Code creating a one-agency approach for permit approvals, and applying environmental protection standards designed specifically for exploration; 
Creating a mining-advocate position; 
Introducing a refundable mineral exploration tax credit worth up to $9 million annually. 

"Our industry is a significant contributor to the economic and social stability of B.C.," said Livingstone. "With joint government/industry co-operation, we will continue to be a driving force behind a prosperous British Columbia." 

"The Mineral Exploration Code's one-agency approach to the management of exploration, and its exploration-specific standards and procedures, will greatly simplify the administration of the mine-finding process," added McKnight. 

"The recognition of compensation rights due to park creation is a milestone that has a major positive impact on investor confidence in B.C.," said Doug Horswill, chair of the Mining Association and vice president of  environment and public relations for Cominco Ltd. 

Mining is important to British Columbia as a source of jobs, revenue and raw materials for manufacturing and export. In 1996, the mining industry in B.C. produced coal and metals worth $3.9 billion, and supported over 20,000 direct and indirect jobs in the province. 

These joint industry-government initiatives are part of the B.C. government's overall strategy to draw job-creating investment to the province, along with Power for Jobs, the Oil and Gas Initiative with  Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, and other programs under the Jobs for BC strategy. 



     Jean Wolff 
     Press Secretary 
     Office of the Premier 
     (250) 387-1718 

     Don Zadravec 
     Executive Director 


Mining is a major contributor to B.C.'s economy, especially outside the Lower Mainland. The province continues to foster its mining sector to encourage investment and employment. 

  • Total mining-related employment* is approximately 58,000. 
      • direct employment approximately 16,700 
      • indirect employment approximately 25,000 
      • induced employment approximately 16,300 
    • There are 22 major operating mines and five smelters in B.C. 
      • 14 metal 
      • eight coal 
    • In addition, there are 
      • 30 industrial minerals mines 
      • 1,100 construction aggregate operations 
      • 500 placer exploration programs and mines annually 
      • 300 metal and coal exploration projects annually 
    • There are nine projects in the environmental assessment process 
      • seven new mining operations 
      • two mine expansions 
    • The value of minerals produced in 1996 was $3.11 billion (including construction materials) 
      • metals $1.54 billion 
      • coal $1.09 billion 
      • industrial minerals $44 million 
    • Mineral exports accounted for 13.2 per cent of all B.C. exports in 1996. 
    • Exploration expenditure in 1997 is estimated at $90 million.
    • Average annual expenditures in B.C. over the previous five years has been $84 million. 
    • Clean coal production values in 1996 increased by 13 per cent. 
         *Total mining-related employment includes exploration for and production of metals, coal, industrial minerals, aggregate, placer minerals and smelters. 

    The Mineral Exploration Code 

    Streamlining the permitting for mineral and coal exploration will: 

    • Simplify the permitting process for mining industry by creating a one-agency permitting process that combines the application requirements of the ministries of Energy and Mines, Environment, Lands and Parks and Forests; and 
    • Ensure accountability by setting timelines for the review and approval of permit applications; 

    A multi-stakeholder review of the Mineral Exploration Code will take place after one full season of operating experience to fine tune if needed. 

    The Mining Rights Amendment Act 

    The Mining Rights Amendment Act is intended to attract investment and create jobs in the sector by demonstrating government's commitment to the industry, assuring access to lands for exploration and mining, and ensuring appropriate compensation is paid for mineral tenures expropriated in order to create parks. 

    The Mining Rights Amendment Act addresses requirements outlined in the Mining Jobs 2000 initiative, including industry's requirement for access to land, security of title and an efficient and transparent permitting process. 

    Land-use plans may propose specific objectives and strategies to guide the conditions for access development and management, however, they cannot prohibit appropriate access to mineral claims. This is consistent with government's clearly stated previous direction and intent to the land use planning tables. 

    Significant parts of the act are: 

    • Assurance of access to mineral titles through amendment of the Mineral Tenure Act to ensure that a mineral tenure holder will be issued a special-use permit by the Ministry of Forests for appropriate ground-based access to his or her tenure, if the tenure holder also holds a permit under the Mines Act for mining activities and meets other prescribed conditions; 

    • Compensation for expropriated mineral titles through the amendment of the Mineral Tenure Act, the Park Act and the Expropriation Act to require that tenure holders are compensated when their tenures are expropriated; 

    • The permitting process section permits the creation of regulations to govern the permitting process for mining activities under the Mines Act, including the establishment of timelines for the processes. 

    Mining Advocate 

    Mining Advocate responsibilities include: 

    • Creating within government a positive investment climate for mining in British Columbia; 

    • Addressing issues directly and at a high level to ensure a smooth and efficient process for the administration of exploration and mining; 

    • Recommending amendments to statutes and regulations to encourage responsible mining in British Columbia; 

    • Facilitating resolution of mining-related operational disputes and permitting delays within provincial agencies. 

    Mining Exploration B.C. Tax Credit 
    • The government will introduce a refundable tax credit for mining exploration undertaken in British Columbia. The credit will be available to individuals and corporations for exploration activities in the province after August 1, 1998. Details of the program, including eligibility criteria and application procedures, will be worked on in conjunction with industry during the next three months. 

    • A working group will be established with representatives from the Ministry of Finance and Corporate Relations, the Ministry of Energy and Mines and the metal and coal mining industries to design the credit. 

    • The Mining Exploration B.C. tax credit will provide an incentive to the industry of approximately $7 million in 1998/99, rising to $9 million in 1999/2000 and future years. 

    New Mine Allowance Extension 
    • To encourage new mine development in the province, the new mine allowance currently provides for a one-third gross-up of the capital costs of new mines that begin production before January 1, 2000. This means that 133.33 per cent of qualifying capital expenditures can be claimed for B.C. mineral tax purposes. 

    • To provide further confidence for the investment necessary for the industry to thrive into the 21st century, this initiative will be extended for 10 years, to new mines that begin production before January 1, 2010.


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