Help Us Protect BC’s Mineral Lands for Exploration
November 1, 2015
Help us protect BC’s mineral lands for exploration. AME believes that it is possible to have both a strong mineral exploration and development industry and a healthy environment. However, based on many inconsistent government land use decisions over the last few years, access to large areas of BC for mineral explorers is eroding. This is contrary to earlier policy pronouncements by government and public land use plan commitments.
Sustained investment in exploration is the only path to successfully discovering and developing new mineable deposits that are so vital to our quality of life in BC. Responsible mineral development spurs positive regional socio-economic development, provides thousands of family sustaining careers, produces the commodities we need and use every day and contributes hundreds of millions of dollars every year to support education and health care. British Columbia is vast, underexplored and has significant mineral development potential. But minerals are a hidden natural resource, and explorers require time and reasonable access to large tracts of land with mineral development potential in order to discover that very rare and special deposit that may be economically viable. Without ongoing exploration and discoveries, there will no longer be new mines constructed in BC. The cornerstones of a successful and sustainable mineral exploration and development industry are:
- Access to large tracts of land to conduct temporary, low-impact exploration for valuable mineral resources;
- Ability to acquire secure mineral tenure; and
- The opportunity to advance and develop a viable mineral resource project under appropriate legislation
AME is currently addressing specific land access and use restrictions within the following areas of BC: the central and north coast, northwest, south Chilcotin, areas southeast of Prince George and the south Okanagan. Access restrictions include not allowing prospecting and exploration activities to banning motorized vehicles and re-classifying land use in large areas such as the: Great Bear Rainforest, Todagin Wildlife Management Plan area, Ancient Forest Reserve, Telkwa Wildlife Habitat area, Nadina Wildlife Habitat Area and Ungulate Winter Range, and Cranberry Sustainable Resource Management Plan. Before restricting access for prospecting, exploration or potential development on any mineral-rich lands in BC, AME recommends that the BC Government:
- Assess the mineral development potential;
- Properly consider the lost socio-economic activities and benefits;
- Fund the long-term renewal of mineral development potential mapping to support BC’s two-zone land access and use policy; and
- Assess the potential negative impacts and unintended consequences to the mineral exploration and development industry of overly restrictive and unreasonable legislative or regulatory changes.
Action that you or your organization can take