BC's vital but often overlooked miners take centre stage

In a series of stories marking Mining Week, Resource Works takes a look at what the sector means for Metro Vancouver’s economy - particularly in the areas of job creation and innovation


British Columbia’s event-filled Mining Week officially began on May 11, but natural resource-dependent communities around the province are already celebrating.

Mining Association of B.C. president and CEO Karina Brino addressed the Kamloops Chamber of Commerce on May 2, talking about the industry’s ability to create new jobs and increase revenue for government services such as health care and education. Last year, for example, PricewaterhouseCoopers reported that the industry generated gross revenues of $9.2 billion, and provided 10,429 direct jobs.

Other events in recognition of Mining Week take place this week in Kelowna, Princeton, Smithers, Sparwood, Prince George and the Britannia Mine Museum north of Squamish, leading to the official launch on May 11 in Vancouver at the national convention of the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy, and Petroleum.

At the CIM convention, there’s a job fair, a trade fair, safety and environment, as well as hands-on exhibits that are expected to attract about 4,000 students, teachers and members of the public. Conference topics include technology, environmental management and mining ethics.

As Resource Works recently reported in a landmark study by Philip Cross, former chief economic analyst for Statistics Canada, mining and other natural resource development benefits all of B.C., not just resource-reliant communities scattered around the province.

Cross reported in The 7 Myths of BC’s Resource Economy that the Lower Mainland also a primary beneficiary through service jobs that arise as a consequence of resource development.

In a series of stories, Resource Works takes a look at this key segment of Metro Vancouver’s economy, and explores opportunities for development, innovation and job creation through conversations with miners, mine developers, software developers and senior analysts.

Day 1: Geovia

Meet the 100 Vancouver employees who use 3D software to model mining deposits. Their innovative approach helps companies worldwide reduce the cost of developing projects, and helps  improve worker safety.


Day 2: Red Chris Mine

Imperial Metals is one of British Columbia’s most successful mining companies. It has full or shared ownership of three mines including two copper-gold operations in B.C. Imperial’s $500 million Red Chris mine project in northwest B.C. is scheduled to reach full operation in late 2014.


Day 3: Seabridge Gold

This junior mining company has a very small corporate headquarters in Toronto. But it employs a wide array of Vancouver-based consultants to help develop its ‘KSM’ copper-gold property in northwest British Columbia, as well as local workers in the northwest region.


Day 4: Scotiabank

If it’s relevant to Canada’s export economy, Pat Mohr is watching it. She’s the author of Scotiabank’s closely followed Commodity Price Index which, incidentally, was lauded in 2012 by Metal Bulletin for a 99.63 accuracy rate in forecasting gold prices.


Day 5: Deloitte

A turbulent combination of falling commodity prices and rising costs is making the mining industry a prime candidate for innovation, according to a leading analyst with Deloitte Canada.

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