Association for Mineral Exploration British Columbia (AME BC)

Association for Mineral Exploration British Columbia (AME BC)

February 28, 2008 19:05 ET

AME BC: Fraser Institute Mining Survey Stops Short of Clear Picture of BC's Mineral Exploration Sector

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Feb. 28, 2008) - "A record year of mineral exploration investment in British Columbia is partially reflected in this year's Fraser Institute Annual Survey of Mining Companies," said Dan Jepsen, President and CEO of the Association for Mineral Exploration BC (AME BC).

This year's report ranked BC 19th overall in investor confidence out of 68 jurisdictions, up from 30th place in last year's report. This is BC's first time in the top third of the survey's Policy Potential Index. BC has experienced stellar improvement in capturing a growing share of nationwide mineral exploration investment. In 2002, BC ranked seventh among 13 provinces and territories in mineral exploration expenditures, attracting 7 percent of exploration investment in Canada, according to Natural Resources Canada. BC ranked second by 2006, attracting 18 percent of mineral exploration expenditures. In contrast, BC is ranked ninth among Canadian jurisdictions in the Fraser Institute survey.

"Investment in mineral exploration in BC is continuing to break records - reaching $416 million in 2007 - a 1300 percent increase from 2001," said Jepsen. "In fact, one of our biggest challenges is meeting the labour and equipment shortages in the province's booming mineral exploration and mining sector."

BC's improved ranking in the survey can be attributed to progressive government policies that attract exploration investment and high-quality publicly available geological databases. "We are pleased that many survey respondents recognized BC as a favourable place for investment," said Jepsen.

"We look forward to BC improving again in next year's survey," stated Jepsen. "We hope that the federal commitment to a Major Projects Management Office, continued provincial and federal funding for geoscience, and increased staffing in the provincial environmental assessment office will all lead to improved investor confidence in the coming year."

Currently there are 23 projects in the environmental assessment and mine permitting process, up from only one in 2001. The provincial budget issued on February 19 provides increased funding for the provincial Environmental Assessment Office. Last October, the federal government also announced a $150 million commitment to the Major Projects Management Office to streamline permitting at the federal level.

Jepsen noted that although BC does face some challenges, the province has worked well with industry and the federal government in developing strategies to increase mineral exploration and mining activity in BC. "The Fraser Institute report reflects the opinions of those who responded to their survey quite well, but still does not give a clear picture of BC's dynamic mineral exploration sector."

About AME BC

AME BC represents over 4,300 members including geoscientists, prospectors, engineers, entrepreneurs, exploration companies, suppliers, mineral producers, and associations who are engaged in mineral exploration in BC and throughout the world. Through leadership, partnerships, and advocacy, AME BC promotes a healthy environment and business climate for the mineral exploration industry. AME BC is regarded as the predominant voice of mineral exploration in British Columbia.

Contact Information

  • AME BC
    Dan M. Jepsen, RPF
    President & Chief Executive Officer
    (604) 818-7878