Association for Mineral Exploration British Columbia (AME BC)

Association for Mineral Exploration British Columbia (AME BC)

October 01, 2007 19:22 ET

AME BC: BC's Mineral Exploration Industry Applauds Power Grid Extension in Northwestern BC

New Power Line Will Foster Continued Mine Development and Encourage Mineral Exploration in the Region

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Oct. 1, 2007) - The BC government's commitment of $400 million to extend the provincial power grid along the Highway 37 corridor from Meziadin Junction to Bob Quinn Lake in northwestern BC will stimulate renewed interest in mineral exploration in the region and provide significant economic opportunities for communities hard hit by the downturn in forestry, said Dan Jepsen President and CEO of the Association for Mineral Exploration British Columbia (AME BC).

"Today's announcement represents one of the largest infrastructure investments in BC since the Bennett era," said Jepsen. "Extending the power grid in northwest BC will foster continued mine development, promote new mineral exploration activity, open new opportunities for independent power producers, expand tourism potential and eliminate costly, inefficient diesel-powered generators."

The new power line will span a total distance of about 335 km. It will run from Terrace north to Meziadin Junction then north to Bob Quinn Lake in an area geologists have labeled the "Golden Triangle."

According to the BC Geological Survey Minfile data base, there are 935 documented mineral occurrences identified in the area benefited by the power grid extension. Of these, 67 are documented as being in the "resource" category - implying a potential mine. Advanced mineral exploration/mining projects in the area include Galore Creek (NovaGold Resources Inc.), Red Chris (Imperial Metals Corp.), Mount Klappan (Fortune Minerals Ltd.), Schaft Creek (Copper Fox Metals Inc.), and Kutcho Creek (Western Keltic Mines Inc.).

These mining projects could potentially account for more than $3.5 billion in investment, creating approximately 3,700 construction jobs and more than 2,000 direct mining jobs when the mines go into production.

"There is no doubt that extension of the power grid will be a major economic catalyst for northwestern BC," said Jepsen. "It's going to encourage healthy economic activity in the region creating long-term, sustainable, high paying jobs in the resource sector as well as through local support services and related infrastructure improvements."

About AME BC

The Association for Mineral Exploration BC (AME BC) represents over 4,100 members including geoscientists, prospectors, engineers, entrepreneurs, exploration companies, suppliers, mineral producers, and associations who are directly or indirectly engaged in mineral exploration in British Columbia and throughout the world. Through leadership, partnerships and advocacy, AME BC promotes a healthy environment and business climate for the mineral exploration industry on behalf of its members. AME BC is regarded as the predominant voice of mineral exploration and related issues in the province.

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