On the road to election 2013: Commodities and Liberal policy drive mining gains

Rising commodities prices, combined with largely mining-friendly public policy, have driven major mining industry gains in B.C. since the BC Liberals came to power in ...
Mining truck

Rising commodities prices, combined with largely mining-friendly public policy, have driven major mining industry gains in B.C. since the BC Liberals came to power in 2001, according to the local explorers association.

Gavin Dirom, president and CEO of the Association for Mineral Exploration BC, said that in 2002, shortly after the Liberals came to power, the global mining industry "bottomed out." Slumping commodities values, he said, had slowed global mining exploration to just $1.73 billion in activity in 2002 – a far cry from 2012's estimated $21.5 billion.

Dirom said B.C.'s exploration expenditures – a key metric of industry health – have since then jumped 1,600% to $680 million in 2012 from $40 million in 2002.

On the policy front, Dirom said the B.C. government has helped boost B.C.'s exploration industry over the past decade by:

  • introducing the mining flow-through share tax credit;
  • introducing the mineral exploration tax credit;
  • lowering corporate taxes; and
  • establishing Geoscience BC.

He added that, over the last decade, the B.C. government has helped improve the mining industry's relationship with First Nations. He pointed to last month's announcement of a revenue-sharing agreement between the B.C. government and four Ktunaxa First Nation communities.

"That's a world-leading public policy implemented here in B.C," he said.

Dirom said that, despite "pockets of challenges," interactions between the industry and B.C. First Nations have improved since the 1990s and are helping bring more certainty to B.C. as a mining investment jurisdiction.

However, Dirom also identified Liberal policy changes that have hurt mining.

"We were outspoken about the decision on uranium, we were outspoken on the decision on Flathead," he said, referring to the Liberals' 2008 uranium mining ban, and the 2010 decision to force miners out of southeast B.C.'s Flathead Valley to turn the area into a de facto park. (See "Exposing political manoeuvring behind B.C.'s 2008 uranium ban"– page 12.)

But he added that Christy Clark's government has mitigated some of those impacts by promising or contemplating compensation.

Heading into 2013, Dirom said the state of B.C.'s mining industry is "very, very positive," but he didn't attribute that to either B.C. policy or global economics. "It's definitely a complicated combination."

comments powered by Disqus

More from Law & Politics

Liberal government consistently breached own FOI laws

'Government routinely operates in contravention of BC law' – privacy and information commissioner

Read Article

Who's getting sued: September 19, 2017

These corporate claims were filed with the BC Supreme Court registry in Vancouver. Information is derived from notices of civil claim. Civil claims have not ...

Read Article

Lawsuit of the week: Student hit by car on Granville bridge claims ...

An engineering student is suing the Yale Saloon and the Insurance Corp. of British Columbia (ICBC), claiming he was served alcohol “well beyond the point ...

Read Article

Mini-budget a prelude to spending spree, B.C. business groups fear

NDP has already eliminated wiggle room needed in event of economic correction: GVBOT

Read Article

Ban on union, corporate donations introduced

Legislation bans "big money" but adds "public" money, with taxpayers subsidizing parties

Read Article

Subscribe to our mailing lists

You may withdraw your consent at any time.

* indicates required

Newsletters

* You can modify your newsletter subscriptions at the bottom of any newsletter you receive.
Business in Vancouver Media Group
303 West 5th Avenue, Vancouver, British Columbia
V5Y 1J6 · Canada
604-688-2398
×