Current OperationsMining In British Columbia
British Columbia is internationally renowned for its mineral resources and is recognized for being a major producer and exporter of coal, copper and molybdenum. These three remain in order British Columbia's first, second and third most important solid mineral products by value. Major minerals produced in BC (as a % of Canada's production): Coal (66%); Copper (40%); Silver (50%); Gold, Lead, Molybdenum & Zinc (Mining Association of BC - MABC). British Columbia is Canada's largest producer of copper, its only producer of molybdenum and the largest exporter of coal.
BC covers 18% of the total Canadian mineral resource production, behind only Quebec (19%) and Ontario (20%). Canada's coal mines and metal mines offered the highest average weekly wages followed by smelting and refining and non-metal mining.
As of 2012, there are 12 operating metal mines, 10 operating coal mines and over 35 industrial mineral operations across the province. More than 60% of Canadian exploration and mining companies are based in British Columbia. Over 25 mine proposals are in process of being reviewed at the Environmental Assessment office and 26 are under review at the pre-application stage. There were 5 new permitted mines in BC as of 2011. The total value of solid mineral production for British Columbia in 2012 was estimated at $7.4 billion (BC Ministry of Energy, Mines & Natural Gas). According to the Pricewaterhouse Coopers' (PwC) report on mining, BC's economy is strongly supported by the mining industry -- it reported pre-tax net earnings of $3.7 billion during 2011. Actual land usage for a mine is extremely small relative to the area explored -- less than 28,000 hectares are used by mining which is less than 0.03%of BC's total land base (BCMEM 2010).
Information on advanced mineral exploration projects is available in the latest BC MEM&NG publication:
Provincial Summary Exploration and Mining in British Columbia 2012
Map of Operating Mines and Selected Exploration Projects in BC, 2012
Information on Mining in BC and the economy, read the PricewaterhouseCoopers annual report:
Forging Ahead: The Mining Industry in BC - 2011