The Mining Association of British Columbia

The Mining Association of British Columbia

October 02, 2007 17:26 ET

The Mining Association of British Columbia: Climate Change, Labour Shortages Among Key Challenges Facing Mining Industry

Asia Pacific Forum on Mining and Minerals wraps up in Vancouver

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Oct. 2, 2007) - The inaugural Asia Pacific Forum on Mining and Minerals wrapped up in Vancouver today with a discussion of the challenges, risks and opportunities facing the global mining industry.

Mining leaders from the Pacific Rim debated and discussed climate change and how to reconcile consumer demands with environmental pressures. As climate change becomes a priority for governments around the globe, resource extraction industries are the easiest targets for regulation. However, there is a paradox as the demand for minerals-such as copper and nickel, which are critical components in hybrid cars-increases dramatically.

"Wind turbines, solar panels, hybrid vehicles, and public transit systems all requires metals," said Michael McPhie, President and CEO of the Mining Association of British Columbia. "The mining sector is critical to the success of climate change programs around the globe, as minerals are required for environmental technologies."

Forum delegates also heard about the enormous risks posed by the impending labour shortages in the mining industry. The Forum was told that Canada will have a shortfall of 80,000 mining workers within the next decade, as an aging population and a growing industry will create an unprecedented demand for skilled labour.

"The mining industry is facing a critical shortage of labour and we need to both train more workers here in Canada, while attracting skilled workers from abroad," said McPhie.

The opportunities for the mining industry come from the adaptation of best practices in corporate social responsibility. As local and international attention shifts increasingly to human rights and environmental issues, so too does the focus of industry.

"Mining requires a social license to operate," said McPhie. "We understand that the opinions of local communities, indigenous peoples, and civil society are critical to the future of our industry. That's why the mining industry has become a leader in sustainable development."

The inaugural Asia Pacific Forum on Mining and Minerals conference brought together senior representatives from industry, government, the investment community, academics and non-governmental organizations. The objective of the forum was to increase trade, investment and collaboration in the mining and minerals sector between B.C., Canada, and countries around the Pacific Rim.

The Mining Association of B.C. speaks on behalf of mineral producers, the major component of a $10 billion industry in B.C. MABC represents the collective needs and interests of smelters and operating coal, metal, and industrial mineral mining companies. For more information, visit: www.mining.bc.ca.

Contact Information