Rock Talk shows region’s prospects

An annual conference on northwest mineral exploration and mining had some rocking news for the industry.

To a non-geologist onlooker, Rock Talk may cause eyes to glaze with an abundance of technical jargon.

However the annual Smithers-based conference on mineral exploration and mining had some rocking good news.

Christine Ogryzlo, communications director for the Smithers Exploration Group, said that there are two main things that people in the Bulkley Valley should know about the industry this year.

“First of all, northwestern British Columbia is the busiest part of this province as a dense area for mineral exploration. In 2011, half of the expenditures on mineral exploration took place in northwestern British Columbia. There was a record $220 million spent on exploration…That’s pretty impressive,” she said.

Ogryzlo also said that there is no reason to expect the high level of spending on exploration for the region to go down anytime soon.

“That’s because of the driving of the commodity prices. Commodity prices for copper, for gold, any of the precious metals, are at record highs,” she said.

In regional geologist Jeff Kyba’s presentation he pointed out that the $220 million spent in the northwest is an increase of $48 million from 2010, and includes at least 54 drilling projects and 21 projects with over $2 million in expenditures.

In the Omenica region, exploration spending also grew to $71.5 million, according to the report of John DeGrace, a contraction regional geologist based in Prince George. That is an increase from $33 million in 2010.

Stikine MLA Doug Donaldson, also the official opposition’s mining critic, said that he will take mining issues to the legislature and will be questioning the government on priority spending for the mining sector.

Among the focuses for Donaldson is development a framework around First Nation consultation. As deputy chair for the Select Standing Committee on Finance, he said he heard from a lot of people in the private sector saying they want the government to establish more certainty over their role in consultation.

He’ll also be questioning the government over budget estimates for the environmental assessment office.

He said that it appears the EAO is not getting an increase to its budget this year, which Donaldson finds troubling as there is a potential of $32 billion in investments for the north in the next few years. No more funding could create a backlog of permitting, he said.

“Nobody can argue against looking for increased efficiencies but if it comes to cutting corners that’s going to lead to unnecessary delays so we need to have public confidence in the environmental assessment process,” he said.

This was the 23rd year for the Rock Talk conference.

 

Just Posted

Repen: FOI data proves Telkwans being ripped off by ICBC

Former Telkwa mayor received a response from ICBC and says the results don’t look good for residents

Fires still burning near Telegraph Creek

BC Wildfire Service assures residents of a proactive plan heading into wildfire season

Northwest entrepreneurs pitch their plans for cash prizes

ThriveNorth announces 12 finalists in this year’s business challenge

Gas prices spike in northern B.C. ahead of the long weekend

Fuel went up 17 cents overnight in Prince Rupert

Cyclist braking stigma on addiction from coast to coast

Mathew Fee aims at world record for longest distance on BMX bike while sharing his story of recovery

Parliament Hill 4-20 organizers predict record crowd after legalization

A celebration? Yes, but organizers say concerns remain about the government’s decisions on legalization rollout

$6K raised in one day’s time for family of woman gunned down in Penticton

GoFundMe launched for family of Darlene Knippelberg, to pay for funeral costs and other expenses

Seven tips to travel safely this Easter long weekend

An average of three people are killed, and hundreds more injured, each Easter long weekend in B.C.

Parents say Austrian climber missing in Banff National Park ‘lived his dream’

David Lama, Hansjorg Auer and American climber Jess Roskelley have been missing since Wednesday

Six months after legalization, high prices and supply issues boost illicit pot market

It has been six months since Canada became the first industrialized country to legalize recreational cannabis

Seattle’s 4-20 ‘protestival’ enjoys tolerance, some support – and B.C. could do the same

Seattle’s Hempfest a large-scale occasions with vendors, prominent musical acts and thousands of attendees

B.C. mountain biker sent home from hospital twice, despite broken vertebrae

Released in Maple Ridge to go home with three fractured vertebrae

Deck collapses in Langley during celebration, multiple people injured

Emergency responders rushed to the Langley home

B.C. RCMP receive application for Police Cat Services

RCMP announced the launch of the Police Cat Services unit as an April fools joke

Most Read