Mining A Sunrise Industry in B.C.

Richard (Rick) Mills
Ahead of the Herd

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As a general rule, the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information


Vancouver BC is undoubtedly one of the greatest mining centers in the world and British Columbia should be a mining powerhouse, consider:

  • Excellent geology
  • Good transportation system
  • Competitive tax rates
  • Strategic location with respect to Asian markets. Two modern ports, Vancouver - Canada’s largest and the Port of Prince Rupert which is the closest of any of North America’s West Coast ports to Asia - up to 58 hours of sailing time shorter
  • High quality and easily accessible geological data
  • Mining friendly provincial government
  • Communities receptive to resource extraction as a livelihood
  • Attractive exploration incentives
  • BC is the third largest generator of hydro electricity in Canada - one of the lowest power costs in North America. Natural gas is plentiful, cheap and resources are growing
  • Some of the most modern education and telecommunications infrastructure in the world

Many of the world’s largest mining companies use to have a strong presence in British Columbia - they left in the 1970’s after the political landscape changed. In the wake of the electoral collapse of the New Democratic Party (NDP) the Gordon Campbell led Liberals won an overwhelming majority in the 2001 provincial election. Since then the Liberal government has been trying to remake B.C. into an investable and attractive place for the mining industry to do business again. Are they succeeding?


Mining Facts from the Mining Association of B.C. (MABC)

  • Gross mining revenues for the BC mining industry were $9.2 billion in 2012
  • In 2012, the BC mining industry made total payments to the government and government agencies of $504 million
  • British Columbia’s mining industry pre-tax net earnings for 2012 was $1.8 billion
  • Hiring requirements for all mining sectors in BC, over the next 10 years, are projected to be 16,770 workers under a baseline scenario
  • The number of people working in BC's mining industry in 2012 increased to 10,419 up from 9,310 in 2011
  • Average employee earnings rose to $98,200 in 2012, up from $93,900 in 2011
  • Capital expenditures fell to $2.7 billion in 2012 from $2.9 billion in 2011
  • Vancouver is the world’s leading centre of expertise for mineral exploration.
  • Some 1,200 exploration companies are located in British Columbia, most in the greater Vancouver area
  • Exploration and development expenditures by survey participants, was $680 million in 2012 compared with $463 million in 2011
  • Lead and lead concentrate revenue totalled $194 million in 2012
  • Shipments of metallurgical coal rose to 24.2 million tonnes in 2012
  • Coal accounts for 39% of the total volume handled at the Port of Vancouver, which moves shipments to China, Japan and other Asian markets
  • Metallurgical coal continued to dominate BC's mining sector in 2012, representing 44% of revenues, followed by copper concentrates at 19%, silver at 10%, zinc and zinc concentrates at 9% and gold at 4%
  • Copper concentrate revenue rose to $1.5 billion in 2012 and copper shipments rose to 787,000 tonnes
  • Gold: net mining revenues rose significantly in 2012 to $275 million, up from $154 million in 2011
  • Molybdenum: net mining revenues in 2012 were $248 million
  • Total mining expenditures rose to $9.2 billion in 2012. Mining companies spent more on items such as production materials and supplies, energy and fuels, outward transportation, and machinery, equipment and construction materials
  • Zinc and zinc concentrates revenue in 2012 fell slightly to $685 million from $693 million in 2011
  • Silver: net mining revenue for 2012 was $760 million
  • Cash flow from BC operations in 2012 was $2,230 million






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