A matter that has captured the attention of many Canadians is the decision from the Supreme Court of Canada in favour of the Tsilhqot’in.
As fall approaches, it appears that the financial challenges that have plagued the mineral exploration sector over the past two years are beginning to dissipate. Drilling programs are being announced, companies are proceeding with plans to develop properties into mines, and, after three years of construction, the Northwest Transmission Line has been completed. This extremely important piece of infra-structure will serve the Red Chris mine and communities along the Highway 37 corridor. It will also improve the prospects of numerous projects in what is known as the Golden Triangle in northwestern B.C. On the other hand, a mine tailings incident at Mount Polley on August 4 is a serious environmental concern as well as a human dilemma shared by local communities, industry, First Nations and government. Considering that we all use and benefit from the metals and minerals explored for and produced by the industry, we must all take responsibility for the continued success of our industry. I have every confidence that we can all learn from this incident and make our mineral exploration and mining industry even stronger if we work together and consider all the scientific data, causal factors, remediation strategies and options. Throughout the spring and early summer, AME BC has been very active on permitting issues. Although we are pleased that the government is carefully reviewing proposed Mines Act permit fees that were announced in February, we will continue to advocate that fees should not be charged for permits for mineral exploration and development activities that neither generate revenue nor provide our members with an immediate asset.
A matter that has captured the attention of many Canadians is the decision from the Supreme Court of Canada in favour of the Tsilhqot’in. In June, the court ruled that Aboriginal title over the land area as requested by the Tsilhqot’in Nation is granted, but that provincial laws and regulations still apply on the land. AME BC acknowledges that this is a complex and precedent-setting case that will require further review, and we are working with our members and the provincial government to determine its true effect. The Association is a proponent of mutually beneficial relationships between the mineral exploration sector and Aboriginal communities, and we will be looking closely at how this case may affect mineral exploration in B.C. The Tsilhqot’in case not only serves as a discussion point for how AME BC members can respect Aboriginal rights and title, but – more importantly – develop and maintain strong relationships with Aboriginal communities. These discussions will take centre stage, along with other topics pertinent to mineral exploration, at AME BC’s Mineral Exploration Roundup 2015 from January 26 to 29, 2015, at the Vancouver Convention Centre East.
In the meantime, AME BC will continue to advance mineral exploration and development in B.C. as it has for 102 years. It is a pleasure to work with you, our members, to facilitate mineral exploration that leads to the development of new mines that benefit all British Columbians.