The Mining Association of British Columbia

The Mining Association of British Columbia

February 09, 2010 21:57 ET

The Mining Association of British Columbia: BC Bows to International Pressure and Announces Mining Moratorium in the Flathead

VICTORIA, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Feb. 9, 2010) - The Mining Association of British Columbia expressed dismay and disappointment at the announcement in the Throne Speech of a moratorium on exploration and mining in the Flathead Valley.

"Today's announcement of a ban on exploration and mining in the Flathead Valley appears to be politically driven rather than based on sound science," said Pierre Gratton, President and CEO of MABC. "This unfortunate decision disregards a comprehensive land use plan developed through the hard work of many stakeholders and eliminates a key source of employment and economic development in BC's south east."

The Flathead covers 160,000 hectares of South East British Columbia and is home to metallurgical coal and precious metal deposits that could provide hundreds of jobs for local residents and millions of dollars in needed tax revenue for all levels of government. "MABC believes that a more constructive means of evaluating whether mining should occur is through BC's environmental assessment process that examines each project on its own merits," stated Mr. Gratton.

There was however, reason to be optimistic in today's throne speech. Mr. Gratton said that, "The industry takes heart in the strong statements focusing on developing a one project, one review approach to environmental assessment." The federal environmental review process has long been an impediment to responsible resource development often delaying investment by a year or more after provincial approvals have been granted. Mr. Gratton further stated that,"The industry applauds the BC government's efforts to convince the federal government to amend the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act to allow for equivalency agreements with provinces that have sufficiently robust processes already in place."

MABC represents companies involved in the exploration and development, mining and smelting of minerals, metals, coal and industrial minerals in British Columbia. It is regarded as the pre-eminent voice of mining in the province.

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