Kamloops region is particularly poised for growth from new projects and expansions
KAMLOOPS, BC, May 10, 2012 /CNW/ - British Columbia's robust and responsible resource sector will help propel the $140 billion in new mining investment expected across Canada over the next five years, says the Mining Association of Canada (MAC). MAC estimates that B.C. has the potential to see more than $30 billion in investment from 30 projects over the next 10 years.
"As the third-largest mining jurisdiction in the country, B.C. will be a major contributor to the overall strength of the mining industry, which we expect to remain steady for years to come. That will bring numerous economic benefits and opportunities to British Columbians, while at the same time, help Canada maintain its status as a global mining superpower," Pierre Gratton, MAC President and CEO, said during a speech in Kamloops on Thursday to celebrate Mining Week in the B.C.-interior city.
The City of Kamloops declared May 6-12 Mining Week alongside other celebrations taking place across the province in May to recognize the importance of the industry to the B.C. economy.
The mineral exploration, development and mining industry generated $8.9 billion in economic activity in B.C. in 2010, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). The industry generated more than 21,000 direct jobs, 8,200 of which were at operating mines across the province and paid average salaries of more than $100,000 annually.
Across the Okanagan region in the interior of B.C., mineral exploration, development and mining accounted for more than 3,400 jobs and contributed $800 million to the local economy in 2010, according to PwC.
The Kamloops region is the largest copper-producing area in Canada. Teck Resources Ltd.'s Highland Valley Copper mine, located southwest of Kamloops, is one of the largest copper mining and concentrating operations in the world. The Kamloops region is also home to New Gold's New Afton copper-gold mine, scheduled to begin production this summer, as well as two proposed projects: KGHM International's Ajax mine and Yellowhead Mining's Harper Creek project.
"The mineral exploration, development and mining industries have been big economic contributors to the Kamloops region for many decades, and we expect that trend to continue for many more," said Mining Association of British Columbia President and CEO Karina Briño, who also spoke at the Kamloops luncheon. There were more than 200 people in attendance at the event, including executives from many of the major mining companies operating in the region.
Both association CEOs also highlighted the importance of responsible, sustainable development in the industry, citing a commitment to work with communities and First Nations to ensure everyone benefits from the industry's growth.
"Communities and mining companies can work together to find common ground to benefit from the economic growth the mining sector is expected to bring to the province in the foreseeable future," said Briño.
This year marks the 25th anniversary of B.C. Mining Week celebrations. May 13-19 is B.C. Mining Week, as declared by the B.C. Legislature. For more information on B.C. Mining Week and events, visit: www.miningweek.ca
About the Mining Association of Canada (MAC)
MAC is the national organization for the Canadian mining industry. Its members account for most of Canada's production of base and precious metals, uranium, diamonds, metallurgical coal, mined oil sands and industrial minerals and are actively engaged in mineral exploration, mining, smelting, refining and semi-fabrication. Please visit www.mining.ca
About the Mining Association of BC (MABC)
MABC represents companies involved in the exploration and development, mining and smelting of minerals, metals, coal and industrial minerals in British Columbia. It is regarded as the pre-eminent voice of mining in the province.
SOURCE Mining Association of Canada (MAC)