BC Budget 2019 was announced on February 19, 2019 and included provisions that AME has been advocating for and believes will significantly and directly benefit mineral explorers active in B.C.
The provisions included in Budget 2019 are just the start as we begin the implementation of the Mining Jobs Task Force report which was accepted and endorsed in its entirety by the Province following its submission to Minister Michelle Mungall on December 19, 2018.
Budget 2019 includes funding for the following actions from the Mining Jobs Task Force report:
Staffing to Improve Permitting and Oversight
The budget commits $20 million over three years directed toward improving competitiveness and oversight for mineral exploration and mining within the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources. Premier Horgan announced his intentions at Roundup 2019. See AME’s comments following Roundup 2019.
Budget 2019 reflected the actual amount to fund approximately 65 new full-time employees. Further details were announced during Mining Day at the Legislature on February 25.
The Corporate Mining Exploration Tax Credit moves from being annually reviewed for renewal to a permanent incentive for eligible corporations, and corporations that are active members of partnerships conducting mineral exploration in B.C. The base rate is 20%; a 30% credit is available for exploration in areas affected by the mountain pine beetle. The Mining Flow-Through Share for individual investors was also made permanent; this 20% tax credit is harmonized with the federal Mineral Exploration Tax Credit.
By making each of these incentives permanent, we anticipate the ability to increase certainty for longer term planning by the industry.
In 2019, AME will be working to increase the percentages of these incentives which we believe will attract investment dollars into B.C. over other jurisdictions.
A commitment of $1 million in funding was made for the expansion of the BC Regional Mining Alliance which works to collaboratively promote B.C. as a leading jurisdiction for mineral exploration and development. This follows a pilot project undertaken in 2018 by the Nisga’a Lisims Government, Tahltan Central Government, the Province of BC, AME and select member companies exploring in the Golden Triangle area. The expansion of this pilot was an action outlined by the BC Mining Jobs Task Force, on which AME participated throughout 2018.
A commitment of $1 million in funding has been allocated in 2019 to create a “BC Mining Innovation Roadmap”.
There is also a commitment by the Provincial government and the Mining Jobs Task Force members to continue to work together to oversee the implementation of all of the actions of the Mining Jobs Task Force report over the next few years. AME looks forward to continuing to work with our colleagues to realize the Task Force’s vision that “British Columbians are proud of our growing mining industry as the backbone of an inclusive, progressive and low carbon economy.”