Archive | British Columbia Mining

Fight softwood duties with U.S. coal shipment ban, premier urges – by Andrew Duffy and Lindsay Kines (Victoria Times Colonist – April 27, 2017)

If the United States refuses to come to the negotiating table, and the legal wrangling over the softwood lumber dispute drags on, Canada may want to consider retaliatory action, according to the man tasked with representing British Columbia in the matter.

A day after the U.S. imposed duties averaging 20 per cent on lumber shipments to the U.S, David Emerson, B.C.’s special trade envoy to the U.S., said there might be means of getting the Americans to move off their stance that Canada’s lumber industry is unfairly subsidized.

Asked if there’s anything beyond the legal route Canada could do to push for a negotiated settlement, Emerson suggested retaliation is an option. “There’s always a big debate as to whether a country wants to link one trade issue with another. It’s a slippery slope and while it often happens quietly and implicitly, very seldom is it done in an open and transparent way,” Emerson said. Continue Reading →

Conflicting rulings in Ontario and B.C. muddy the waters in Eco Oro Minerals board battle – by Barbara Shecter (Financial Post – April 25, 2017)

A layer of drama was added to the fight between Eco Oro Minerals Corp. and a group of dissident shareholders Monday after an Ontario regulator and a B.C. court came to different conclusions regarding the battle over control of the board.

The shareholder group, which is trying to oust the board of the precious metals exploration and mining company in favour of their own slate, got a boost when the Ontario Securities Commission ruled early Monday that a disputed share issue by the company required a shareholder vote.

But a ruling from the B.C. Supreme Court later in the day — in response to a separate claim — found that the minority shareholders of Vancouver-based Eco Oro had not met the test for shareholder oppression. It also adjourned a special meeting at which a different vote — over board composition — was to take place Tuesday. Continue Reading →

Mining sector shines for province – by Karina Brino (Prince George Citizen – April 24, 2017)

Karina Brino is the president & CEO of the Mining Association of B.C.

Community representatives, First Nation and government leaders, and members of B.C.’s mineral exploration and mining industry are gathered at the Minerals North conference in Prince George this week to discuss important opportunities and challenges facing the industry.

One of the issues on their minds is how the government will support the industry to be globally competitive and able to produce the commodities we all need and use daily, while providing a stable, prosperous and sustainable future for every citizen of British Columbia.

Exploration and mining are an essential part of the economic and social fabric of this province. The industry contributes more than $7.8 billion annually to the provincial economy, which includes 30,000 jobs that supporting families in rural and urban communities. Continue Reading →

Towns on the clock: What comes after coal for B.C.’s mining towns? – by By Josh Pagé and Liam Britten (CBC News B.C. – April 22, 2017)

Coal has for decades been the way of life for miners in towns like Elkford, Sparwood and Fernie

Mining coal for steelmaking has been the way of life — a good life — for coal miners in towns like Elkford, Sparwood and Fernie for more than a century. But there’s also tension there, as coal truck driver Katie Bulger, who originally moved to the area for the snowboarding, explains.

“It is kind of a huge push and pull between … loving the mountains, being outdoors, and then going to a mine where it is just destroying mountains,” she said. Dean McKerracher, mayor of Elkford, feels tension too, but on a different matter.

While the major mines are expected to be in operation for several more decades, he worries what their inevitable closure will mean for the future of his community. The plan is to try to transition into tourism. Continue Reading →


April 19, 2017, Vancouver, BC: The Mining Association of British Columbia (MABC), Association for Mineral Exploration (AME), and Mining Suppliers Association of British Columbia (MSABC) launched the Vote Mining campaign today to raise awareness about the importance of the mineral exploration and mining sector to the provincial economy and to encourage citizens to ask their candidates how they will support BC’s mining industry. is the campaign’s official website and it provides British Columbians with the tools and knowledge to ask their candidates the important questions. The Vote Mining ‘Take Action’ tool will also facilitate voters’ ability to write to their candidates and ask how they plan to support mineral exploration and mining in BC.

“BC’s mineral exploration and mining industry remains a major driver for the provincial economy. As partners in the Vote Mining Campaign, we wish to provide British Columbians with factual information that will showcase how important it is for candidates and voters to support such a critical industry that creates local opportunities for people living in every region of the province.”, said Gavin C. Dirom, President & Chief Executive Officer of the Association of Mineral Exploration (AME). Continue Reading →

Indigenous law banishes a giant B.C. mine – by Elizabeth McSheffrey (National Observer – April 21, 2017)

The moment you step onto Stk’emlúpsemc te Secwépemc land in southern British Columbia, according to Chief Ron Ignace, you are a beggar. As an outsider, you have no rights and you’ve strayed away from your home and family. You are considered a poor person, he tells National Observer, and you are beholden to the First Nations on whose territory you stand.

His message takes aim at anyone who wants to do business or travel on his nation’s land, be they tourists, government, companies, fishers, or boaters.

“The days of colonial authoritarianism are over,” he says. “It’s time for Canada to recognize that we are nations, as nations we have rights to our land, and if we are approached honourably, we can sit down and come to a fair and just conclusion.” Continue Reading →

Approval of Mount Polley mine waste dumping irks critics – by Yvette Brend (CBC News B.C. – April 18, 2017)

Mount Polley Mining Corporation has been granted permission to drain treated mining waste water into Quesnel Lake, a massive glacial lake that provides drinking water to residents of Likely B.C., northeast of Williams Lake.

Approval of the long-term waste water management plan came April 7, despite a disaster that put the water at risk in 2014 and a provincial investigation into the spill that is not yet complete. “The timing is absolutely surprising,” said Ugo Lapointe of Mining Watch Canada, who pointed out the news release came on a Friday afternoon before the launching of the B.C. election.

Quesnel Lake, famed for trophy-sized rainbow trout, is feared at risk by locals who describe it as the deepest fjord lake on earth, and who protest any dump of mining waste, treated or otherwise, which can carry toxic elements and heavy metals such as arsenic and lead or zinc. Continue Reading →

Nutrient-Poor Farms Get a Vitamin Boost From Zinc Mines – by Danielle Bochove (Bloomberg News – April 18, 2017)

Injecting an industrial metal back into the ground could prove a boon for farmers and miners alike. The metal is zinc. Used mostly to reduce corrosion in iron and steel, zinc also is needed in trace amounts to keep humans and plants healthy.

Without it in their diets, people are prone to diarrhea, pneumonia and malaria, and crops are stunted. The trouble is that farmland in South Asia, sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America is increasingly zinc deficient, leading to more than 450,000 deaths annually of children under age five, a 2008 study in The Lancet showed.

While use in agriculture remains small, sales of zinc-infused fertilizers from companies including Mosaic Co. are growing. Farmers are trying to boost yields by reviving soils deprived of nutrients by overuse and a changing climate. Continue Reading →

Opinion: The coming resurgence of Canadian mining – by Mark Morabito (Vancouver Sun – April 13, 2017)

Mark Morabito is chairman and CEO of King & Bay West, a Vancouver-based merchant bank and technical services company that specializes in the resource sector.

The mining cycle always comes back — let’s take full advantage of the opportunity on our doorstep. After spending the better part of the last half-decade in a bear market, the mining industry is feeling the early effects of two forces that will influence both companies in the sector and investors with the patience to play the long game.

Those who bought when almost everyone was ignoring natural resources will soon be rewarded for placing careful bets and biding their time. Considered against the backdrop of slower exploration activity and a lack of new deposits ready to come on-stream, the convergence of these forces is setting the stage for a powerful resurgence in the mining sector that will have an impact here in B.C. and across Canada.

China’s plan to urbanize rural areas, which have yet to experience the type of growth seen in the country’s coastal cities, combined with U.S. President Donald Trump’s $1-trillion plan to modernize America’s crumbling infrastructure, represents great opportunity for the mining sector in Canada and globally. Continue Reading →

What’s Changed on the Ground Since the Mount Polley Mine Disaster? – by Christopher Pollon (The – April 12, 2017)

There are more than 120 tailings dams across British Columbia today, holding back a century of toxic mining detritus. Unless this number can be reduced, an average of two B.C. dams are predicted to fail in each coming decade.

The way to avoid this was laid out clearly in the wake of the Mount Polley mine disaster. For taxpayers and the environment to be protected, an independent review panel of three geotechnical experts concluded B.C. must move to safer ways of processing and storing tailings — the chemical and metal-rich byproducts of mineral processing.

Rejecting the notion that “business as usual can continue,” the review panel was clear that economic considerations must not trump long-term safety concerns. But even after multiple investigations and dozens of recommendations adopted by the B.C. government, there are indications that business as usual continues. Continue Reading →

Barkerville sees long-term potential in BC’s Cariboo gold district – by Lesley Stokes (Northern Miner – April 10, 2017)

VANCOUVER — Barkerville Gold Mines (TSXV: BGM) is in for a busy year at its Cariboo Gold property outside the historic 3 million oz. Barkerville placer gold camp in south-central British Columbia. The junior explorer has plans to begin small-scale underground production at the property’s Bonanza Ledge deposit, followed by a resource update for the project’s most promising assets: Cow and Island Mountains.

Chris Lodder, president and CEO of Barkerville, says during a phone interview with The Northern Miner that the underground mining would be a test for future production at Cow and Island Mountains — the details of which would be outlined in a feasibility study expected in 2018.

“We’ll start with something small so we can learn how to mine these deposits from underground, and then apply it to the rest of the property,” Lodder says, noting the vein-hosted and replacement-style orogenic gold deposits fall within a 67 km long belt of prospective rocks. Continue Reading →

IN DEPTH: 60 years later, Alaska still calling B.C. to task on a mine leak flowing through its river – by Francis Plourde and Maryse Zeidler (CBC News BC – April 5, 2017)

In a quiet corner of B.C., a mine that shut down 60 years ago has been slowly leaking acid runoff into a river that flows into Alaska. Officials there are working to change that.

In 1957, the Tulsequah Chief mine on the shores of the Taku River in northwest B.C. closed its doors, leaving behind acid mine drainage — the acidic water created at mining sites that can then drain into waterways, which critics say can harm fish and other wildlife.

The drainage is a big concern for Alaskans given the location of the mine — next to one of the most important salmon rivers in the U.S. The Alaskan government has tried dozens of times to compel B.C. officials to do something about the drainage since the mine closed. Continue Reading →

First Nations, gov’t sign Kemess mine deal – by Frank Peebles (Prince George Citizen – April 6, 2017)

A major hurdle to a major gold mine was cleared on Thursday – in fact three hurdles. The Tsay Keh Dene, Takla Lake and Kwadacha First Nations all announced their support for the Kemess Underground Mine and a revenue deal with the provincial government to prove it.

As municipalities collect annual income from industrial activities within their town borders, these three First Nations will receive regular income from this proposed mine. It was considered one of the final obstacles to getting the Kemess project to the starting line.

The three, who share the unceded traditional territory on which the mine would be built, worked together under the collective title of Tse Keh Nay during negotiations with the provincial government. Continue Reading →

50 years ago today, 15 men died in a B.C. coal mine explosion – by Liam Britten (CBC News BC – April 3, 2017)

Deadly Sparwood-area mine explosion remembered by people who were there and by city

Monday marks the 50th anniversary of the Balmer North mine explosion in southeastern B.C. The industrial accident ripped through an Elk Valley coal mine near present-day Sparwood and killed 15 men on April 3, 1967.

Some of the men were friends of Ewan Gordon, who, on Monday, reflected on the disaster and what life was like for coal miners back then. “You were kinda listening to the earth talkin’ to you, hoping it wasn’t gonna fall on your head,” he said. “You felt a lot closer to your maker when you were listening to the ground crack around you.

“We lived together. We ate together … when you congregate on the bus to and from work and whatnot, we’d tell [newer miners] stories. Whether they were impressed or not, I don’t know, but it’s kind of a forgotten era.” Continue Reading →

Mining Watch News Release: 25,000 Canadians Join First Nations, Local Residents in Seeking Justice for Canada’s Biggest Mining Spill (March 27, 2017)

Williams Lake (B.C.). As Federal Crown Prosecutors move today in B.C. provincial court to stay (i.e. shelve) MiningWatch’s private charges over the Mount Polley mine disaster, the mining watchdog is releasing the names of over 25,000 Canadians who have endorsed a petition urging the Trudeau government not to let those responsible off the hook for the biggest mining spill in Canada’s history. Local residents, regional groups, and First Nations support the effort to enforce the Fisheries Act.

The 25,000-strong petition is presented today in a demonstration in front of Williams Lake Court house. British Columbians and Canadians are invited to add their names to the petition, before the petition is delivered in the coming weeks to each of the federal ministers responsible for enforcing the Fisheries Act.

“We are deeply concerned that nearly three years after the disaster, and despite clear evidence of damage to water and fish habitat, no sanctions have been brought forward by any level of government,” states Ugo Lapointe, Canada Program Coordinator for MiningWatch Canada. Continue Reading →