9 Factors Driving the Future of Mining in British Columbia

9 Factors Driving the Future of Mining in British Columbia

Jurisdictions are an important factor in building a successful mining exploration project.

In Canada, British Columbia (BC) is building a brighter future for mining and mineral exploration.

This infographic from our sponsor BC Regional Mining Alliance (BCRMA) details nine factors that make the province the right jurisdiction for mining.

#1: A strong mining ecosystem

British Columbia has a long mining history that has produced a host of global industry experts. Today, the region abounds in exploration activities and includes:

  • 326 active exploration projects
  • $660 million in exploration spending in 2021
  • More than 1.4 million meters of exploration drilling in 2021
  • 17 metal and coal mines in operation

In addition, the province also offers comprehensive services geological dataresearch from leading institutions and over 3,700 mining supply companies.

#2: Geological potential

British Columbia’s mining ecosystem is built on its strong history and immense geological potential. In 2020, the province produced a diverse range of commodities including gold, silver, copper and other base and industrial metals.

Mineral 2021 production value (billions) % of total value
iron and steel coal $6.3 billion 49.7%
Copper $3.7 billion 29.3%
Gold $1.5 billion 12.1%
Building aggregates $0.5 billion 3.6%
Industrial minerals $0.4 billion 3.4%
Other $0.2 billion 1.9%
Total $12.6 billion 100.0%

British Columbia is the only Canadian producer of molybdenum, used in metallurgical and chemical applications, in addition to being the first Canadian producer of copper and steelmaking coal.

The province’s Golden Triangle, located in the northwest region, contains some of the largest gold deposits in Canada, with minerals worth more than $800 billion.

#3: Effective regulation

BC’s stable, transparent and effective political environment facilitates the transformation of mineral endowment into mineral production.

The province ranked as the world’s least risky jurisdiction for mining in 2017 and 2018, its collaborative licensing between ministries reducing delays for miners and explorers.

Additionally, British Columbia uses a standardized mine approval process for all companies, whether local, national or international.

#4: Sustainable Indigenous Partnerships

Supportive Indigenous communities facilitate exploration and mining efforts in British Columbia and, in turn, mining accounts for more than two-thirds of all indigenous peoples employed in the extractive sector.

In 2018, 120 Indigenous-affiliated businesses exchanged $265 million of goods and services with the 17 operating mines in British Columbia. In addition, British Columbia was the first province in Canada to share mineral tax revenues with First Nations, with over $130 million shared with communities to date.

#5: Infrastructure for mining

British Columbia offers infrastructure that supports and enhances exploration and mining, including:

  • A $700 million high voltage transmission line
  • Improved highways
  • Hydroelectric facilities
  • Improved ocean port infrastructure

#6: The impact of mining on local economies

The mining industry is essential to British Columbia’s economy, as its benefits benefit the province’s 203 local communities.

In 2020, the BC mining industry generated $9.5 billion in gross revenue and contributed $382 million to government revenue, employing 11,378 people.

#7: Destination of choice for responsibly sourced metals and minerals

Environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors are becoming increasingly important to investors when choosing where to invest.

British Columbia offers the opportunity to invest in a globally recognized jurisdiction where raw materials are produced in accordance with ESG standards due to progressive climate policies, strict environmental regulations, a skilled workforce and the adoption of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

#8: Abundance of critical minerals and metals

British Columbia’s mining industry produces many of the metals needed for a cleaner future.

Metal Technological applications
Copper Wind turbines, solar panels, electric vehicles
Money Solar panels, electric vehicles
Zinc Wind turbines, energy storage
Nickel Electric vehicles, energy storage
Molybdenum Wind turbines
iron and steel coal Network infrastructure

With vast resources of critical minerals, British Columbia is well positioned to play a key role in the transition to a low-carbon economy and clean energy future.

#9: Increase business and financial incentives

Exploration spending in British Columbia has increased over the past five years. Despite the impact of the pandemic, 2020 saw the highest level of exploration expenses since 2014.

The provincial government offers incentives to actively encourage investment in exploration, mining and innovation. These include tax credits for exploration, apprenticeship training, as well as investment allowances that allow investors to claim interest on invested capital while the mine is in production.

Mining development is also strongly encouraged in British Columbia, with companies being able to claim one-third of eligible capital expenditures for mine development and expansion.

A bright future for mining and exploration

British Columbia’s natural potential for mineral exploration, combined with jurisdictional advantages, makes it one of Canada’s prime locations for the mining industry.

With effective regulations, a mineral-rich geology and an active mining industry, British Columbia offers a bright future for mining and mineral exploration.

>>>The BCRMA is a strategic partnership between Aboriginal groups, industry and government officials that aims to promote British Columbia’s mining opportunities internationally.

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