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B.C. launches first phase of critical mineral strategy

DCN-JOC News Services
B.C. launches first phase of critical mineral strategy

VANCOUVER—The Government of British Columbia has launched the first phase of its critical mineral strategy with 11 key actions.

A release cited copper, nickel and molybdenum as essential components of products such as electric vehicles, solar panels, wind turbines, electrical transmission lines and batteries and said, “B.C.’s mining sector provides many of the building blocks of clean technologies that the province and the world need to fight climate change and build a clean economy.”

“The world needs a stable, free, democratic, high-standard producer of the metals and minerals needed to battle climate change. That gives B.C. a generational opportunity to seize, one where we can be prosperous and protect the planet for our kids at the same time. Resource workers like miners in our province are on the front lines of the fight against climate change. We’ll support them and their families, so they can support the whole province,” B.C. Premier David Eby said.

The 11 key actions are:

  • A Critical Minerals Project Advancement Office;
  • investments in geoscience;
  • promotion of B.C.’s environmental, social and governance advantage;
  • prioritizing critical-mineral infrastructure;
  • investing in strategic regional critical-mineral projects;
  • assessment of the infrastructure and electrification assessment;
  • commitment to First Nations on continued critical minerals development;
  • continued commitment to reform the Mineral Tenure Act;
  • a fiscal environment assessment;
  • StrongerBC: Future Ready Action Plan skills training and workforce development; and
  • alignment of B.C. and First Nations Energy and Mining Council critical mineral strategies and continued engagement with First Nations.

Future actions to expand the strategy are expected to be delivered in the coming months, according to the release. 

“Next steps include actions to support First Nations participation in projects, economic analysis and support for First Nations’ capacity building to develop and refine policies and actions. An important part of the work ahead will be ensuring that the strategy is aligned with the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples,” the release said.

Eby also shared exploration expenditures and mine production numbers for 2023 at the Jan. 22 announcement at the Association of Mineral Explorers annual conference.

Last year, mineral-exploration expenditure in the province was $643.5 million, 94.1 per cent higher than in 2018, the first full year of the government’s mandate and mining production value is forecast to be more than $15.9 billion for 2023, a 63.9 per cent increase from 2018.

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