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Minister’s statement on Mining Month 2023

Press Release

May 4, 2023

VICTORIA – Josie Osborne, Minister of Energy, Mines and Low-Carbon Innovation, has released the following statement in celebration of Mining Month:

“During the month of May, we recognize the economic and social importance of the mining and mineral-exploration sector, a foundational part of British Columbia’s economy that generates more than 30,000 good, family-supporting jobs for people in communities throughout the province.

“Already a world-leading mining jurisdiction, in recent years, B.C.’s mining sector has grown and evolved to place high value on environmental, social and governance principles, and strong and collaborative partnerships with Indigenous communities. This is what makes British Columbia a destination of choice for investors that prioritize environmental sustainability, economic opportunity and reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples.

“First Nations have a crucial role in British Columbia’s mining sector. Our approach to natural-resource development must be done in collaboration and partnership with the rightful owners of the land. And through the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act Action Plan, we are committed to modernizing the Mineral Tenure Act to continue to build and strengthen our work together. We have already initiated a process of consultation and co-operation with First Nations to advance this work, consistent with the Interim Approach from the Declaration Act Secretariat.

“Natural-resource development in our province is undergoing profound shifts as demand for more environmentally sustainable operations soars and the world transitions to a cleaner, low-carbon economy to meet climate goals. B.C.’s mining sector is an essential part of this change as we provide the critical minerals and metals needed to fight climate change. We are Canada’s largest producer of copper and only producer of molybdenum. These and other critical minerals are integral components of emerging technologies, such as electric cars, wind turbines and solar power that will help drive a cleaner, healthier future.

“A recent survey commissioned by the Mining Association of BC shows that overwhelmingly British Columbians want to see the province become a leader in supplying these critical minerals. I also want to see the province of B.C. as a leader in this space, which is why we’ve set aside $6 million over the next three years to develop a critical minerals strategy and to further unlock B.C.’s potential to produce additional critical minerals and develop new opportunities through the supply chain.

“B.C.’s mining sector is already taking a leading role in the clean-energy transition. An excellent example is Artemis Gold’s Blackwater Mine southwest of Vanderhoof. As B.C.’s first new open-pit mine in almost a decade, the Blackwater Mine is a role model in a thriving, future-focused mining sector. It received its operating permit in just 10 months, from final application to green light. Connection to the BC Hydro grid will provide the mine with a sustainable source of low-carbon hydroelectricity and the potential to produce gold and silver with some of the lowest greenhouse gas emissions in the world.

“In 2022, we saw record-breaking numbers with a forecasted annual production value of more than $18 billion and exploration spending at a record $740 million – up $80 million from 2021. We continue to make progress to reduce permitting wait times, and we are looking forward to three gold mines beginning production within the next year.

“I want to recognize the dedication and efforts of everyone in the mining and mineral exploration sector who has helped us to achieve such success. I look forward to continuing to work together to support and encourage progress, and the viability and growth of the mining sector and the communities that rely on it.

“Please join me in celebrating B.C.’s world-class mining and mineral exploration industry during Mining Month.”


Ministry of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation
Media Relations
250 208-6183


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