British Columbians may have different viewpoints when it comes to resource development, but most agree that the mineral exploration and mining industry has a role to play in BC’s 2040 zero emissions target, and that minerals are required for climate solutions that help us reach a sustainable future

Vancouver, BC – A public opinion poll conducted this past summer by Research Co. found that nearly two-thirds of British Columbians (63%) believe mineral exploration and mining industries have a role to play in achieving the provincial government’s 2040 zero emissions target.

The zero-emissions target, which has received strong public support and was passed by the BC legislature last year, requires all light-duty cars and trucks sold in BC to be zero-emissions vehicles by 2040.

Respondents were also asked whether environmental protection or economic growth is more important to them. A majority of those who prioritize economic growth believe that mineral exploration and mining industries are key to reaching the zero-emissions target, with two-thirds of this group reporting that mineral exploration and mining industries ultimately provide the raw materials required to transition to low carbon technologies and other climate solutions necessary for a sustainable future. A majority of those who prioritize environmental protection over economic growth also reported that these industries will have a key role in reaching the zero-emissions target.

“What we found interesting about the views of British Columbians is that traditionally opposing viewpoints regarding resource development are essentially in agreement when it comes to mineral exploration and mining playing a vital role in reaching the target,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co.

“Building a sustainable future that preserves the environment while also being economically robust is important to all British Columbians. That future requires new and innovative technologies that depend on the types of minerals and metals found in BC,” says Kendra Johnston, President and CEO of the Association for Mineral Exploration B.C. (AME). “Our industry continues to adhere to and elevate environmental best practices, while searching for the minerals and metals that we all need to live in the technologically advanced world that surrounds us. We look forward to delving into these findings further at AME’s annual Mineral Exploration Roundup conference next week.”

“British Columbians are increasingly making the connection between mining and a low carbon future. Our province’s mines and smelters have a lower greenhouse gas intensity than most of our global competitors and our products are essential to the transition to a low carbon economy,” says Michael Goehring, President and CEO of the Mining Association of BC.

The poll results also found that many British Columbians currently lack familiarity with mineral exploration and mining-related activities. Across BC, nearly two-thirds (63%) indicated they’re either not too familiar or not familiar at all with mineral exploration, and that they lack familiarity with the kinds of minerals that are found and mined in the province. Only three-in-ten (30%) are ‘very familiar’ or ‘moderately familiar’ with the process by which mineral resources are located in the province.

“The poll findings reveal a significant opportunity to inform British Columbians about mineral exploration, and the vital importance minerals and metals play in building the green technologies of the future,” says Johnston. “We have work to do.”

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An online study was commissioned by the Association for Mineral Exploration B.C. (AME), produced by Munro Thompson Communications and conducted by Research Co. from June 21 to June 25, 2019, among 800 adults in B.C. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region in B.C. The margin of error, which measures sample variability, is +/- 3.5 percentage points, nineteen times out of twenty.

This poll required respondents to select an initial leaning by selecting one of four categories that they felt was most important to them: those who strongly prioritize or lean towards economic growth at the expense of environmental protection, and those who lean towards or strongly prioritize environmental protection at the expense of economic growth.

About the Association for Mineral Exploration B.C. (AME)

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.

About AME’s Mineral Exploration Roundup and Discovery Day 2020: AME’s annual Mineral Exploration Roundup conference brings together more than 6,000 people annually to share innovative ideas, generate new connections and create collaborative solutions related to mineral exploration and development. Discovery Day is a free event for the family and a chance to explore the interactive, innovative and educational displays. Everyone is invited to learn about the importance of minerals and metals in our everyday lives. Discovery Day is Sunday January 19, 2020 at 10am and the conference is January 20 to 23, 2020 at the Vancouver Convention Center East.

About Research Co.

Headed by Mario Canseco, Research Co. is a renowned polling firm based out of Vancouver BC. Leveraging a global network of partners in the qualitative, data collection and data visualization specialities, Mario has analyzed and conducted public opinion research since 2003, designing and managing research projects for clients across the private and public sectors. Mario is a sought-after commentator on political and sociological issues, and writes a column for Glacier Media. His articles have also appeared in the Vancouver Sun, the Globe and Mail and the National Observer.

About the Mining Association of British Columbia (MABC)

MABC is the voice of mining in British Columbia, representing operating steelmaking coal, metal and industrial mineral producers, as well as smelting operations and advanced development companies in the province. Our mandate is to encourage the safe, responsible development and operation of mining and related facilities across British Columbia.  MABC’s members include some of this province’s most iconic operating companies. In 2018, the mining industry generated $12.3 billion in economic activity and supported over 33,000 direct and indirect jobs in BC. The sector contributed $953 million in payments to the provincial government last year, not including corporate income tax and other employment related taxes.

For more information, please contact:

Amanda Munro

[email protected]