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Deputy Minister Sheila Wynn

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Deputy Minister Sheila Wynn Powered By Docstoc
					               Deputy Minister Sheila Wynn

 The Mining Association of Canada – Keynote Dinner
                      Speech
      Vancouver, BC – Tuesday, June 22, 2004



Introduction
• Thank you Gordon (Jim)
• Good evening ladies and gentlemen.
• Let me extend a very sincere welcome to British Columbia to
  those of you who live elsewhere.
• I also bring greetings from Premier Campbell, and Minister of
  Energy and Mines Richard Neufeld – both are unable to join
  you due to a long-planned cabinet retreat.
• It is a pleasure to be here tonight to provide you with an
  overview of B.C.’s mining sector and talk to you about some of
  the exciting activity that is underway throughout British
  Columbia.
• The Government of B.C. is committed doing what it can to
  realize B.C.’s mining potential in the province and is partnering
  with industry in responsible and sustainable development.
• Mining has a long tradition and a great future in this province.


Current State of Mining
• Throughout British Columbia’s history, mining has always been
  one of the pillars of the provincial economy.
• The province’s mining sector covers the full spectrum of mining
  activity, from underground coal and metal mines to large world
  class surface metal and coal mines.
• Our provincial mining industry also produces aggregate and
  industrial minerals, and placer mining is regionally important in
  several areas of the province. (Atlin, Prince George)
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• Mining has been a significant contributor to the provincial
  economy for 150 years, beginning with coal mines on
  Vancouver Island and placer gold camps in the Cariboo.
• Our long mining history is largely the basis for the infrastructure
  upon which British Columbia was built. It is also part of this
  province’s rich cultural heritage.
• Today, mining directly employs 10,000 British Columbians at
  an average salary in excess of $80,000 – the highest average
  wage in the resource sector.
• Mining is second (behind pulp and paper) among all industries
  in providing indirect jobs for British Columbians.
• In 2003/04 mining generated over $65 million in direct
  government revenue.
• And the good news is that with over 14,000 known mineral
  occurrences in the province, coupled with soaring global
  demand for metals (driven largely by China’s booming
  economy), there is a vast untapped potential for responsible
  development in British Columbia.
• While B.C. is one of the richest mineral areas in the world, it is
  under-explored compared to similar mining jurisdictions.
• The provincial government has stated its commitment to support
  the long tradition of mining in British Columbia. Since 2001,
  the government has worked hard to unlock mining’s potential,
  for the benefit of all British Columbians and to improve the
  investment climate for mining in British Columbia.
• Industry has responded enthusiastically to government’s
  initiatives and of course the commodity prices certainly are an
  added bonus!


Mining in BC is Booming:
• Mining in this province is on an upswing.
• After nearly a decade of decline, exploration spending by B.C.’s
  mining sector has risen by two-thirds since 2001, and industry is
  forecasting dramatic increases again this year.

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• Exploration activity is a key leading indicator for the industry.
• Expanded exploration is behind the nearly 600 proposed and
  active drilling projects across B.C. These projects will create
  nearly 1,000 jobs during the exploration season.
• As well, additional construction and mining employment of 300
  is expected this year when the Gibraltar Copper Mine near
  Quesnel resumes operations. There is also potential for an
  additional 220 construction jobs at the Wolverine property a
  proposed new coal mine near Tumbler Ridge.”
• A report on British Columbia mining released last month by
  PriceWaterhouseCoopers said British Columbia saw
    $54 million in exploration in 2003, up from $32 million in 2001.
•   Industry forecasts suggest mineral exploration expenditures
    could range between $90 and $120 million this year.
•   What great news for our mining sector!
•   Already, staking of mineral claims has almost doubled in the
    first three months of 2004 (to over 15,000) compared to the
    same period last year. This reflects the sector’s success in
    raising more than twice as much funding in 2003 as in 2002.
•   The provincial government’s commitment to listening and
    responding to industry is an important part of revitalizing
    British Columbia’s mining industry.
•   Since 2001, the province has made more than a dozen changes
    favouring the sector’s growth, including extending the super
    flow-through share tax credit program, eliminating the
    provincial sales tax on mining machinery and equipment,
    eliminating the corporate capital tax and improving geoscience
    capabilities with new maps and geophysical information.
•   The province has also moved to provide greater certainty on the
    land base with the introduction of the two-zone system, which
    for the first time clearly spells out where industry can and
    cannot go to explore for and develop mines.


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•   Along with industry the province is looking for ways to make
    B.C. even more attractive to international investors – by
    increasing certainty, reducing regulation and encouraging
    sustainable development.
•   A comprehensive Mining Plan for British Columbia, will be
    introduced later this year to further strengthen the sector’s
    competitiveness and growth.



Modernizing Mining in British Columbia
•   Mineral Titles on Line is one of a number of steps my ministry
    is taking to improve and enhance mineral exploration in British
    Columbia.
•   Mineral Titles Online is bringing mineral title acquisition into
    the modern era.
•   Providing online title acquisition and maintenance access to
    prospectors will help to further increase mineral exploration
    through convenient and up-to-date access to land resource data.
•   The new online titles system will provide a greater degree of
    accuracy and certainty in the registration of interest in mineral
    claims.
•   This process will allow a mineral explorationist the opportunity
    to put more money into the ground looking for the minerals as
    opposed to expending funds to physically staking out a piece of
    ground.
• Implementation of the new acquisition and tenure administration
  system is tentatively scheduled for January 2005


Environmental Record
• Although mining occurs in all areas of the province from the
  Northwest, to the Kootenays in the Southeast, mining activity
  affects less than one-third of one percent of British Columbia’s

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  land base. Less than 28,000 hectares are currently being used
  for mining.
• When a mine closes, mining lands are reclaimed for other uses.
• As many refer to it – it’s a temporary use of the land.
• British Columbia’s mining companies have demonstrated
  excellent reclamation success – at mines located at sea level, at
  coal mines located at high elevation and in climates ranging
  from temperate rainforest to semi-arid grasslands.
• Through prediction and prevention techniques, British Columbia
  regulators, consultants and industry are world leaders in
  managing issues related to metal leaching and acid rock
  drainage.
• British Columbia guidelines have been adopted by other
  jurisdictions and adapted by major multinational companies for
  inclusion in company policy.
• Mines have successfully re-established habitat for elk, moose,
  deer, Rocky Mountain Bighorn sheep and Mountain goats.
  Mines also have provided grazing lands for cattle, have
  successfully reforested waste-rock dumps, established trophy
  trout fisheries in a tailings pond (Highland Valley Copper near
  Kamloops) and created spawning habitat for Bull Trout.
• I am proud to say this province has high environmental
  standards; standards that the mining industry have met and in
  many cases exceeded.
• It is also noteworthy that mining is the safest heavy industry in
  the province.


Reduced Regulations
• Provincial regulations related to mining have been reduced
  significantly.
• Amendments to the Coal Act and Mineral Tenure Act alone
  have resulted in an overall reduction of 105 regulatory

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  requirements, resulting in a more streamlined regulatory
  environment to support the growing mining industry.
• Ministry staff worked together with industry and labour to
  revise the Health Safety and Reclamation Code from a
  prescriptive to a results-based format. This revision resulted in
  the elimination of over 900 regulatory provisions without
  lowering necessary health, safety and environmental standards.
• Staff have also been consulting with industry looking for ways
  to make further regulatory reductions and to propose changes
  that will further encourage sustainable development.
• Last year, government appointed an MLA Task Force to visit
  British Columbia’s mining companies, operations and
  communities. Their input is guiding the development of the
  comprehensive Mining Plan for BC to be completed by this fall.
  Some actions are underway already.
• Government’s goal is to make British Columbia the most
  attractive jurisdiction in Canada for exploration and mining.
• The province believes its new action agenda for mining will
  help to restore mining’s economic potential and will help
  generate new investment, jobs and opportunities for the benefit
  of all British Columbians.



Conclusion

Future of B.C. Mining Sector
• The government of British Columbia has a broad range of
  policies and initiatives designed to encourage further
  investments in the mining sector




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• Provincial representatives have been taking the message to
  world investment markets that British Columbia wants, and is
  open to, their business.
• Over the next year the province will expand its marketing
  efforts, in collaboration with the Mining Association of British
  Columbia and the BC Yukon Chamber of Mines.
• A recent investment mission to London, England resulted in the
  prestigious Mining Journal hosting the International Mines and
  Money Conference in Vancouver in May of this year.
• At the conference, British Columbia was nominated for an
  award honouring the region that has shown the most
  improvement in policies affecting the exploration community.
• It is great to have the province’s efforts acknowledged by the
  international investment community.
• I should also mention that B.C. received the 2003 PDAC “Claim
  Tag Award” in recognition of our Rocks to Riches program – an
  innovative arrangement with the federal government and Yukon
  Chamber of Mines for the short-term delivery of geoscience.
  (B.C. Govt. – $2.1 million for 2 years development strategy)
• The opportunity exists to see significant growth in the mining
  sector –
     o British Columbia has abundant mineral resources.
     o British Columbia has excellent infrastructure.
     o British Columbia has competitive power rates.
     o British Columbia has a skilled work force.
     o British Columbia is a world leader in raising financing for
       exploration.
     o And British Columbia has an open door for mineral
       exploration and development.
• Government policies are designed to allow people and
  businesses to grow and stay in British Columbia.
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• Mining is back in British Columbia. Mining is growing in
  British Columbia. Mining is welcome in British Columbia and
  mining has a very bright future in British Columbia.
• Thank you very much.




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