By KARINA BRINO
A lot has changed over long history of mining in B.C. Our province has grown to become one of the leading economies of the Pacific Rim.
Vancouver is a thriving, multicultural metropolis and the Canadian gateway to Asia.
A province that once relied on fisheries and forestry to employ thousands and support whole communities now looks to mineral extraction and natural gas for the same benefits.
Established in 1901, the Mining Association of B.C. is one of B.C.’s oldest associations. It aims to support a strong and vibrant mining and mineral processing industry, one that will continue to create wealth and opportunity for all British Columbians for generations to come.
The contributions of the mining industry extend far beyond the mining sites and communities in which our members operate.
The industry touches the lives of all British Columbians in one form or another. In 2013, the industry generated $8.5 billion in revenues, directly employed 10,720 people, and made payments of $511 million to government – money that is used to fund hospitals, schools, roads, bridges, and other public services that people across the province depend on daily.
Mining companies are also proud to contribute millions of dollars every year to local community organizations.
Mining matters to every single person in B.C. and the mining community is proud of the difference we make in people’s lives.
We all depend on the products that come from mining.
Whether we are talking about communications networks, residential and industrial needs, new sources of green energy, or our economy, mining is an integral part of our lives. It is an integral part of who we are in British Columbia.
As Canada’s largest producer of copper, its largest exporter of coal, and its only producer of molybdenum, B.C.’s mining industry helps British Columbians stay connected, moving, and healthy.
It is important to recognize that the mining industry is driven by people – people who share the same care and concern for the environment as their neighbours.
Today’s mining companies focus as much on responsible development and shared community values as they do on the engineering required to build safe and environmentally responsible mines.
The B.C. mining industry is aligned with the interests of our communities.
Over the last few decades, responsiveness, reclamation, and community engagement have become routine practices in the industry. Advancements in technology are creating new ways of looking at extractive industries.
The Mining Association of B.C. was the first provincial mining association to implement the Mining Association of Canada’s Towards Sustainable Mining (TSM) initiative – the industry’s commitment to world-leading best practices in environmental stewardship and community engagement.
While there is still more to be done, B.C.’s mining companies have become leaders in establishing partnerships based on meaningful dialogue and shared values.
The people of B.C. have put great confidence in the mining sector’s ability to support their lifestyles while operating responsibly, and the industry is dedicated to ongoing progress, meaningful engagement, and respectful dialogue.
As I look back and consider how far the mining industry has come, I can only imagine what the future will hold.
There is a tremendous opportunity in B.C. going forward for the industry to continue to positively impact the lives and social wellbeing of all British Columbians. From Dease Lake to downtown Vancouver, mining truly matters to everyone.
Karina Brino is the President of the Mining Association of British Columbia.