See what $22.7 billion in BC natural resources looks like

Visual Capitalist imagines our yearly resource extraction as giant cubes placed around downtown Vancouver. See just how enormous it is, and how much it's worth

Most British Columbians know that natural resource exports are a cornerstone of our economy. But very few people realize the value of our province's exports, and have no clue what the volume of our export industry actually looks like. Visual Capitalist has put together some graphics to help everyone grasp the sheer volume of our wood, mineral and coal production and just how much money they bring into our economy. The bulk of our natural resource extraction is wood products.

We produce logs, paper, pulp, and other wood products to the tune of $16 billion per year! It’s no wonder that our forestry industry is so important to our economic well-being. Canada is the second-largest wood exporter in the world according to Natural Resources Canada, and BC plays a critical role.

Volume-wise, the bulk of our natural resource extraction consists of wood products. Gold, silver, copper, zinc, molybdenum and lead are just a few of our mineral exports. However, it’s shocking just how little gold volume is mined compared to the extraordinary value it commands. But soon, that little cube is going to grow thanks to recently-approved new mines due to come online soon. 


Many British Columbians are surprised by the importance of metallurgical coal for our economy. This is coal used specifically in steel production, not electricity generation. Cars, ships, planes, buildings, bridges, pipelines and wind turbines are just a few things that rely on our met coal for production. We extract $3.1 billion in met coal per year.


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