B.C.'s mining sector has invested heavily in a new $75 million earth sciences centre at the University of British Columbia that it hopes will help fill a growing need for skilled workers in the mining sector.
The provincial government contributed $37.5 million toward the centre, which officially opened Friday, with $26 million coming from the mining sector.
Main contributors included Goldcorp Inc., Teck Resources Ltd., Lundin Mining Corporation and Pan American Silver Corp.
Ross Beaty, chairman of Pan American and Alterra Power Corp., is also a major donor. He is the chair of the UBC earth sciences building campaign.
"Great facilities help create great graduates who in turn build great companies and institutions," Beaty said.
"UBC's world-renowned reputation for excellence in earth, ocean and atmospheric sciences is enhanced with this fine new building, which I am most proud of helping establish for future generations."
The new 17,500-square-metre building can accommodate 7,000 students and features labs, a lecture theatre and customized computer labs.
"We expect more than 10,000 job openings for skilled workers in B.C.'s mining, oil and gas and mineral exploration industries by 2020, and UBC earth sciences graduates are going to fill those jobs and help grow these industries," Premier Christy Clark said.
"That's why we are investing in facilities such as the Earth Sciences Building at UBC to ensure British Columbians are prepared for the jobs of tomorrow."