Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources Minister Michelle Mungall and Bryan Cox, CEO of he Mining Association of B.C., discuss the rising demand for minerals to supply the electric car industry, B.C. legislature, Feb. 26, 2018. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)

B.C. task force aims to grow mining jobs

Minister, industry stress mineral demand for electric vehicles

Coming out of the 2014 failure of the Mount Polley mine tailings pond in the Cariboo, disputes with Alaska over mining effects on cross-border rivers and the rejection of a proposed open-pit metal mine near Kamloops, the B.C. government has formed an industry task force to look for ways to maintain and expand the B.C. mining industry.

Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources Minister Michelle Mungall announced the task force Monday at the B.C. legislature, flanked by industry and mining community representatives. Mungall and Bryan Cox, CEO of the Mining Association of B.C., stressed the increasing demand for copper and other minerals to meet expected demand for electric vehicles.

The task force has a November deadline to make recommendations to Mungall on the competitiveness of the B.C. industry, improving safety and the government’s role in geoscience to aid mineral exploration.

Task force members include Mark Podlasly, senior advisor to the First Nations Mining and Energy Council, Codie Morigeau, director of education and employment for the Ktunaxa Nation Council in the East Kootenay and two representatives of the United Steelworkers.

“One of our goals with this review is to find ways to ensure mines in B.C. remain viable when commodity prices fluctuate, so that people can keep working and communities can thrive,” Mungall said.

Cox, who will serve on the task force, said the mining association will tour the province with an illustrated electric car that highlights the need for copper and other materials to electrify the transportation network.

One of Mungall’s first decisions as minister was in mid-December, refusing an environmental assessment certificate for the $1.5 billion Ajax copper-gold project proposed near Kamloops. The province’s Environmental Assessment Office recommended against approval after a joint assessment with the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency weighed the impact on Jacko Lake, grasslands and an aboriginal territorial claim to the site of the open-pit proposal.

The mining task force joins a long list of reviews underway by the NDP minority government. They include an examination of “professional reliance” in oversight of industrial projects in B.C., where contracted engineers and other experts inspect sites rather than government employees.

Just Posted

Alberni hosts Island track and field championship

Secondary schools compete at Bob Dailey Stadium

Is Steve Nash Vancouver Island’s best athlete of all-time?

As Captain Canada gets ready to enter basketball’s Hall of Fame it’s time to debate his legacy

Who is Vancouver Island’s greatest athlete ever?

We want to know, you get to choose in a 64-athlete tournament bracket

200,000 salmon smolts released in netpens for Alberni salmon enhancement

West Coast Aquatic has released 205,000 chinook smolts into two net pens… Continue reading

Virtual simulation engages users in the event of a tsunami hitting Port Alberni

A team from the University of Victoria display a tsunami simulation at the 2018 #BCTECH Summit

VIDEO: Grand Forks shores up defences as floodwaters rise to peak levels

Canadian Forces, volunteers working to protect low-lying areas

Chilliwack Chiefs moving on to RBC Cup final after thrilling win over Ottawa

Kaden Pickering scored the winning goal in the 3rd period as Chilliwack won their semi-final 3-2.

VIDEO: As floodwaters recede, crews assess the damage to Grand Forks’ downtown

More than four dozen firefighters and building inspectors came out to help

Wellington Dukes pull off epic upset of Wenatchee at RBC Cup

The Dukes are off to the championship game after downing the Wild 2-1 Saturday at Prospera Centre.

Canada to face U.S. for bronze at world hockey championship

Canada was looking to play in the gold medal game for a fourth straight year, but saw 3-2 loss

Searchers for Vancouver Island father turn focus to Cowichan River

Cowichan SAR joined by many other SAR groups, volunteers now determined to find missing man

Vacationers urged to check for stowaway bats that could carry deadly disease

‘White-nose syndrome’ has killed millions of bats in North America, but hasn’t arrived in B.C. yet

Highway 19A closed in both directions near Union Bay

An incident involving a vehicle has shut down Highway 19A in both directions early Saturday morning.

Are B.C.’s gas prices enough to keep you from travelling May long weekend?

Gas prices in B.C. ranging from 125 cents per litre to more than 150 cents

Most Read