A Mineral Explorer’s Guide to General Local Elections

British Columbians go to the polls on Saturday, October 20 to select mayors and councilors in muncipalities, and electoral area directors in rural areas. Here are some questions to ask your candidates.

Business

Mineral exploration brings economic benefits to more than 150 communities in BC – through exploration programs and services ranging from accounting to transportation.

Can you tell me which of our local business are supported by mineral exploration and how will you help these businesses thrive?

Environment

Mineral resources are hidden and the location of the next major discovery is impossible to predict. What is certain is that many more significant mineral deposits remain to be discovered in BC. To find those rare mineral deposits, explorers require access to much of the province’s land base to conduct temporary, low impact and localized exploration activities.

How will you work with the provincial government and other local governments to support mineral explorers with continued access to the land while balancing the needs of multiple land users?

Jobs and Training

Mineral explorers may spend their entire budget in local communities – and one-third of explorers in a recent survey indicated that they spend half their budget largely on local goods and services.

If elected, how would you keep and attract younger workers at home and ensure they have the skills needed by local businesses and the mineral exploration sector?

 Collaboration

Mineral exploration is provincially regulated. However, mineral explorers engage with all levels of government, community members and Indigenous Nations about their project with the level of engagement growing as a project becomes more advanced.

If elected, how would you support mineral explorers in their effort to engage with local government, communities and Indigenous Nations?

Investment

A competitive and predictable business environment and a streamlined regulatory regime are important to attracting the scarce investment dollars needed to fund mineral exploration that in turn supports local communities.

If elected, what will you do to ensure BC and its communities attract mineral exploration investment?

Did you know?

Here are some key facts about mineral exploration in B.C.

  • Mineral exploration expenditures in BC were close to $250 million in 2017 alone. These dollars were spent in more than 150 communities across the province.
  • Mineral exploration is necessary to replace the mineral resources that have been mined. Without mineral exploration there would eventually be no mining and without mining we will not produce the minerals and metals needed for a modern, technology-based, low-carbon society.
  • Mineral resources are hidden and the location of the next major discovery is impossible to predict. What is certain is that many more significant mineral deposits remain to be discovered in BC. To find those rare mineral deposits, explorers require access to much of the province’s land base to conduct temporary, low impact and localized exploration activities.
  • Minerals and metals are key to a sustainable low-carbon economy for renewable energy generation and battery storage. This includes metals such as copper, lead, molybdenum, cobalt and silver that are important exploration targets in BC.
  • Mineral exploration and mining are the largest private sector employer of Indigenous people in Canada.
  • Vancouver is the world’s leading centre of expertise for the mineral exploration industry with more than 800 exploration companies (almost three times second place Toronto) as well as 1,200 service and supply companies supporting exploration and mining such as software, technology, and legal, financial, environmental and engineering services.
  • A competitive and predictable business environment and streamlined regulatory regime is critical to attracting the scarce investment dollars needed to fund mineral exploration. While BC has been successful in attracting exploration funding, it is perceived by many in the investment community to be a risky jurisdiction for investment.
  • Mineral exploration is an environmentally responsible industry. All exploration projects that involve mechanized disturbance must have a reclamation plan and post a reclamation bond with the province before they start. This ensures that disturbed land is reclaimed once programs are complete.
  • Mineral exploration is a safe industry with a worker lost-time incident rate well below the average for all industries in Canada.