Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources Minister Michelle Mungall and Bryan Cox, CEO of he Mining Association of B.C., discuss the rising demand for minerals to supply the electric car industry, B.C. legislature, Feb. 26, 2018. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)

Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources Minister Michelle Mungall and Bryan Cox, CEO of he Mining Association of B.C., discuss the rising demand for minerals to supply the electric car industry, B.C. legislature, Feb. 26, 2018. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)

B.C. task force aims to grow mining jobs

Minister, industry stress mineral demand for electric vehicles

Coming out of the 2014 failure of the Mount Polley mine tailings pond in the Cariboo, disputes with Alaska over mining effects on cross-border rivers and the rejection of a proposed open-pit metal mine near Kamloops, the B.C. government has formed an industry task force to look for ways to maintain and expand the B.C. mining industry.

Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources Minister Michelle Mungall announced the task force Monday at the B.C. legislature, flanked by industry and mining community representatives. Mungall and Bryan Cox, CEO of the Mining Association of B.C., stressed the increasing demand for copper and other minerals to meet expected demand for electric vehicles.

The task force has a November deadline to make recommendations to Mungall on the competitiveness of the B.C. industry, improving safety and the government’s role in geoscience to aid mineral exploration.

Task force members include Mark Podlasly, senior advisor to the First Nations Mining and Energy Council, Codie Morigeau, director of education and employment for the Ktunaxa Nation Council in the East Kootenay and two representatives of the United Steelworkers.

“One of our goals with this review is to find ways to ensure mines in B.C. remain viable when commodity prices fluctuate, so that people can keep working and communities can thrive,” Mungall said.

Cox, who will serve on the task force, said the mining association will tour the province with an illustrated electric car that highlights the need for copper and other materials to electrify the transportation network.

One of Mungall’s first decisions as minister was in mid-December, refusing an environmental assessment certificate for the $1.5 billion Ajax copper-gold project proposed near Kamloops. The province’s Environmental Assessment Office recommended against approval after a joint assessment with the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency weighed the impact on Jacko Lake, grasslands and an aboriginal territorial claim to the site of the open-pit proposal.

The mining task force joins a long list of reviews underway by the NDP minority government. They include an examination of “professional reliance” in oversight of industrial projects in B.C., where contracted engineers and other experts inspect sites rather than government employees.

BC legislaturemining

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Nanaimo city council voted unanimously Monday to pass a bylaw establishing the foundation for a new downtown business improvement association. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
City of Nanaimo adopts bylaw to create new downtown business improvement association

Chamber of commerce says next steps will be a board of directors and five-year strategic plan

Nanaimo-Ladysmith school district teachers’ union, and its counterparts from Mount Arrowsmith district, seek stricter COVID-19 rules. (News Bulletin file)
Nanaimo-Ladysmith teachers’ union asks health authority for stricter COVID-19 measures

Teachers ask for vaccine, more online learning, mask mandate for primary students

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson outlines the province’s three-year budget in Victoria, April 20, 2021. (B.C. government video)
B.C. deficit to grow by $19 billion for COVID-19 recovery spending

Pandemic-year deficit $5 billion lower than forecast

Chakalaka Bar & Grill remains open in defiance of orders from Island Health to close. (Cole Schisler photo)
Island Health seeks injunction against restaurant defying COVID-19 orders

VIHA says Chakalaka Bar and Grill also violating water and sewer regulations with RV hook-ups

Nanaimo Fire Rescue investigator Mark Jonah probes the scene of a blaze that destroyed two apartments on Sunday, April 18. The cause of the blaze has not been determined. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
UPDATE: RCMP say Wakesiah Avenue fire was arson, suspect has been arrested

35-year-old man arrested for allegedly starting fire lived in the complex

A man pauses at a coffin after carrying it during a memorial march to remember victims of overdose deaths in Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. announces historic half-billion-dollar funding for overdose crisis, mental health

Of it, $152 million will be used to address the opioid crisis and see the creation of 195 new substance use treatment beds

Children’s backpacks and shoes are seen at a CEFA (Core Education and Fine Arts) Early Learning daycare franchise, in Langley, B.C., on Tuesday May 29, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. budget to expand $10-a-day child care, but misses the mark on ‘truly universal’ system

$111 million will be used to fund 3,750 new $10-a-day spaces though 75 additional ChildCareBC universal prototype sites over the next three years.

The City of Nanaimo will further investigate an initiative to set up two 12-cabin sites to create transitional emergency housing for people experiencing homelessness. (Black Press file photo)
City of Nanaimo will ask for expressions of interest to operate tiny cabin sites

Staff expresses concern about workload, councillor says sheltering people must take priority

Ambulance paramedic in full protective gear works outside Lion’s Gate Hospital, March 23, 2020. Hospitals are seeing record numbers of COVID-19 patients more than a year into the pandemic. (The Canadian Press)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate declines, 849 cases Tuesday

Up to 456 people now in hospital, 148 in intensive care

Christy Clark, who was premier from 2011 to 2017, is the first of several present and past politicians to appear this month before the Cullen Commission, which is investigating the causes and impact of B.C.’s money-laundering problem over the past decade. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)
Christy Clark says she first learned of money-laundering spike in 2015

The former B.C. premier testified Tuesday she was concerned the problem was ‘apparently at an all-time high’

Police executed a search warrant at the Devils Army Clubhouse on Petersen road in Campbell River on August 10, 2017.
Murder trial into 2016 Campbell River killing underway in Victoria

Ricky Alexander is charged with the first-degree murder of John Dillon Brown

Most Read