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BC Mineral Explorers Highlight Decreasing Land Base During PDAC Convention

March 17, 2016

Groundbreaking report from AME highlights need to clarify land access and use policies

Toronto, ON – March 7, 2016 ­­– This week, the Association for Mineral Exploration British Columbia (AME) is highlighting how restrictive land access and use regulations and policies are putting the future mineral exploration and development industry at risk. The AME report, Framing the Future of Mineral Exploration in British Columbia, presents a troubling overview about the decreasing land base, lack of clarity in land access and use rules, as well as the overlapping nature of government regulations. In 1977, 4% of the land base in British Columbia was closed to mineral exploration; today over 18% is closed. In addition, access to another 33% of the land base is severely limited. Discovering hidden mineral deposits requires access to large tracts of land to explore, but the actual land used for mining purposes is only 0.05% of British Columbia, of which more than 40% is under reclamation.

AME is bringing this critical issue to light at the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) annual convention in Toronto. This follows the Vancouver release of the AME report in January showing the shrinking land base available for the exploration of hidden and valuable minerals in British Columbia, as well as the increasingly complex government policies that exploration companies are forced to navigate. AME is calling on other jurisdictions to join a national dialogue with the Canadian Mineral Industry Federation on the implications that land access and use restrictions have on mineral exploration efforts across the country. Canada’s base metal reserves are in decline and fewer discoveries are being made, and with access to mineral lands shrinking at unprecedented rates, fewer jobs will be available and fewer economic opportunities will be created in Canada’s mineral exploration industry.

“Mineral explorers and developers are responsible for finding the critical minerals and metals that are used to build the things that people need and enjoy every day, including mobile phones, electricity, bicycles, public transit, and life-saving medical equipment,” says Gavin C. Dirom, President and CEO of AME. “We appreciate the opportunity provided during the PDAC convention to collaborate with other members of the Canadian Mineral Industry Federation to help bring awareness to this important issue. With PDAC’s leadership and support, our resourceful and innovative geoscience, exploration and mineral development industry can survive, grow and provide Canadians with metals and minerals for multiple generations.”

“The recent report released by AME demonstrates the complex governmental policies that mineral exploration companies must navigate to secure access to land,” says Rod Thomas, President of the PDAC. “PDAC echoes AME’s call for a national dialogue on how mineral potential is factored into land-use planning and land withdrawal decisions, to ensure that stakeholders are able to have an evidence-based conversation that supports both economic development and environmental stewardship. This topic is being discussed by the Canadian Mineral Industry Federation, of which both AME and PDAC are members.”

“To address the situation in British Columbia, AME is working with the provincial government to streamline and clarify land use regulations and plans, as well as developing a modern decision making process to better reflect and balance society’s needs and values,” adds Diane Nicolson, Chair of AME. “This evolving process needs to acknowledge the hidden nature and value of sub-surface mineral resources as compared to surface level activities, and ensure these unique mineral values are taken fully into account in the development and application of land use decisions and regulations. We believe that it is possible to have both a strong and active mineral exploration and development industry and a sustainable, healthy environment.”

To join the dialogue, please come by the AME booth at the PDAC convention, taking place in Toronto from March 6 to 9, 2016.

Read the full Land Access and Use Report at the following link:
http://bit.ly/1QmyjNn

Access the Land Access and Use Infographic here:
http://bit.ly/1Kr5d8X