Premier Christy Clark addresses the ninth annual B.C. Natural Resources Forum in Prince George on Jan. 12.

Premier touts mine expansion

Premier Christy Clark says the Huckleberry Mine expansion is proof that her government’s jobs plan is working.

Premier Christy Clark says the Huckleberry Mine expansion is proof that her government’s jobs plan, which promised nine expansions and eight new mine openings by 2015, is already working.

“It’s an ambitious goal, and this is part of meeting that goal,” Clark said last Thursday before she delivered the keynote speech at the ninth annual B.C. Natural Resource Forum in Prince George.

On Dec. 30, the provincial government approved a revised Mines Act permit that allows Huckleberry Mine to expand a tailings pond so that it can continue mining new copper reserves until 2021.

As the Houston Today reported last week, the expansion will secure 230 existing jobs and add 70 new ones. From 2014 to 2021, Huckleberry Mines Ltd. expects to pay employees about $254.4 million in wages and benefits.

“The expansion of this mine brings jobs and economic benefits, not only to central B.C. but to the whole province,” Clark said. “The north really is the beating heart of our economy. “

Two days before Huckleberry Mine got the green light to expand, the province announced a timeline to deal with a backlog of similar permit applications.

In November, it came to light that 6,915 environmental permits had piled up at B.C.’s environmental and natural resources ministries.

Members of the B.C. Government and Service Employees’ Union (BCGEU), which made the backlog public after filing a Freedom of Information request, said it is a direct result of staff cuts to biologists, geologists and other front-line ministry workers.

On Dec. 28, B.C.’s natural resources ministry said in a release that it plans to get through 80 per cent of its Notice of Work permits by Aug. 21, and halve the number of Land and Water Act applications by Dec. 31. The permits apply to mines and other natural resource development projects.

Along with reducing the permits backlog, the B.C. government is offering mining companies a variety of tax incentives to get digging.

Under the new incentives, companies will get a a 20 per cent refundable tax credit for mining exploration, and a new Mine Allowance will give mining companies that start or expand production before 2016 the equivalent of a 133 per cent deduction in start-up costs.

 

Just Posted

CN train derailment cleared between Terrace and Prince Rupert

The CN mainline is now open, following a train derailment mid-way between… Continue reading

College could offer training programs this fall

But has no plans to re-establish a physical presence

Bath day

The Houston Volunteer Fire Department, Perry Slaney and Fred Brown were out… Continue reading

Emergency service day in Houston

The second annual emergency service day was held on July 11 in… Continue reading

New CAO starts at RDBN

Curtis Helgesen started as the new Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) of the… Continue reading

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

Vancouver Island teens missing after vehicle found ablaze near Dease Lake, BC

RCMP say a body discovered nearby not one of the missing teens

A year later, ceremony commemorates victims of the Danforth shooting

It’s the one-year anniversary of when a man opened fire along the bustling street before shooting and killing himself

Japanese Canadians call on B.C. to go beyond mere apology for historic racism

The federal government apologized in 1988 for its racism against ‘enemy aliens’

B.C. VIEWS: NDP pushes ahead with Crown forest redistribution

This isn’t the time for a radical Indigenous rights agenda

Two dead in two-vehicle crash between Revelstoke and Golden

RCMP are investigating the cause of the crash

Ottawa fights planned class action against RCMP for bullying, intimidation

The current case is more general, applying to employees, including men, who worked for the RCMP

Alberta judge denies B.C.’s bid to block ‘Turn Off the Taps’ bill

He said the proper venue for the disagreement is Federal Court

Most Read