AME welcomes the Economic Recovery Plan released today by Premier John Horgan and Finance Minister Carole James. AME recognizes the importance of the short-term measures put in place to stimulate economic recovery in all regions of the province.
In particular, AME applauds the $20 million to be invested in short-term jobs training for in-demand jobs. Mineral exploration and mining will play an important role in the strong economic recovery of British Columbia. With strengthening commodity prices and efforts by the provincial government to expedite permitting, it is expected that the mineral exploration industry will require trained workers in all areas of the province.
The small and medium sized business recovery grant of up to $30,000 for companies and a PST rebate on machinery and equipment are also expected to help service and supply companies for the industry hard hit by the pandemic. A tax credit to support businesses that continue hiring employees is also welcome.
The Association for Mineral Exploration’s (AME) President and CEO, Kendra Johnston, noted:
“We applaud the government’s prudent approach to prioritizing stimulus measures that will help economic recovery in the short term. With an eye on the longer term, we are eager to see further support for the mineral exploration industry, as recommended by the multi-partisan Select Standing Committee of Finance Government Services. Mineral exploration is a vibrant and resilient sector and, together with mining operations, will play an essential role in BC’s economic recovery in the months and years to come. It is critical we ensure BC remains globally competitive for mineral exploration as strong demand and pricing for gold and copper should continue to attract significant capital for exploration into our province.”
The BC legislative Select Standing Committee on Finance Government Services has recommended that the provincial government examine making enhancements to mineral exploration tax credits to ensure BC remains globally competitive for investment and to continue to support the BC Geological Survey. Specifically, AME has recommended increases in the Mining Exploration Tax Credit (METC) and Mining Flow-Through Share (MFTS) rates; creating an investment fund with a mandate of investing in homegrown mineral exploration companies that are operating in BC; and ensuring that the BC Geological Survey receives $6 million in funding in Budget 2021.
Ms. Johnston continued:
“Now is absolutely our time to grow BC as a centre of excellence for mineral exploration, attracting global capital and leading the world in responsible exploration practices. We look forward to leading these conversations at AME’s Remote Roundup conference in January in advance of Budget 2021.”
AME is the lead association for the mineral exploration and development industry based in British Columbia. Established in 1912, AME represents, advocates and promotes the interests of almost 5,000 members who are engaged in mineral exploration and development in B.C. and globally. AME encourages a safe, economically strong and environmentally responsible industry by providing clear initiatives, policies, events and tools to support its membership in delivering responsible projects that advance reconciliation and provide benefit to all British Columbians.
Director, Regulatory and Technical Policy