Association for Mineral Exploration British Columbia (AME BC)

Association for Mineral Exploration British Columbia (AME BC)

March 05, 2007 19:45 ET

AME BC: Fraser Institute Survey of Mining Companies Blurs the Line Between Perception and Reality

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(CCNMatthews - March 5, 2007) - There's a huge gap between perception and reality in this year's Fraser Institute Annual Survey of Mining Companies when it comes to BC's ranking in the report, said Dan Jepsen, President and CEO of the Association for Mineral Exploration BC (AME BC).

This year's report ranked BC 30th overall in investor confidence out of 65 jurisdictions, down from 23rd place in last year's report.

"Investment in mineral exploration in BC soared to a record-high $265 million in 2006 - an 800 per cent increase from 2001. How does the Fraser Institute account for the discrepancy between increased investment in BC's mineral sector and its negative perception of the province as a place to invest?" asked Jepsen.

The report's rankings do not reflect BC's 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 seven per cent of exploration investment in Canada. In 2005, BC ranked second, attracting nearly 17 per cent of mineral exploration expenditures.

Over the last five years, the BC government has introduced numerous progressive policies to attract exploration investment and cut red tape all designed to make BC more competitive in the international market. These include:

- Streamlining regulations while providing a global standard for environmental protection in the minerals sector;

- Extending the flow-through share tax credit program to 2008, with a commitment to further extend it to 2016;

- Introducing a 30 per cent mineral exploration tax credit for companies prospecting in forest-dependent communities affected by the Mountain Pine Beetle.

Sixty per cent of Canadian exploration and mining companies are based in BC, which has the world's largest concentration of exploration companies and mining professionals. Of the 52 mining projects in the permitting process across Canada today, 25 of them are in BC.

Jepsen pointed out that the Fraser Institute's survey of metal mining and exploration companies is based on personal opinions rather than reflecting the true state of mineral exploration and mining in BC. He suspects that one of the reasons researchers may have taken a dim view of BC's investment merits is the length of time required to secure federal approval for new mines. Jepsen notes that up to 14 separate departments federally look at each mining project.

"AME BC is encouraged by the federal government's commitment to revisit the permitting process," said Jepsen. "A streamlined permitting process is critical to opening new mines so communities can take advantage of the economic benefits of BC's great geology and the strong global market for minerals."

About AME BC

The Association for Mineral Exploration BC (AME BC) represents over 3,900 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.

Contact Information