Media Statement on the Release of Phase 1 of the BC Government’s Critical Minerals Strategy

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Jan. 22, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Michael Goehring, President and CEO of the Mining Association of British Columbia (MABC), made the following statement on the release today of Phase 1 of the Government of British Columbia’s Critical Minerals Strategy:

“While the Mining Association of BC supports the direction of Phase 1 of the BC Government’s new Critical Mineral Strategy, our sector is concerned the Strategy is missing a foundational element: competitive fiscal policy.

The strategy recognizes the generational opportunity critical minerals offer to all British Columbians. It contains some important policy initiatives to advance the industry including dedicating staff and resources to prioritize critical minerals projects and expedite permitting. The strategy also emphasizes the need to support First Nations partnerships and economic reconciliation.

To unlock BC’s critical minerals potential, the province needs competitive fiscal and regulatory policies to attract and retain investment in our sector. BC’s mines and smelters operate in a high-cost environment due to complex resource geology and challenging geography. They are ‘price takers’ in world markets without the ability to pass increased costs and taxes onto global customers. Changes to BC’s tax regime over the past ten years have significantly increased operating costs across the sector.

The mining sector believes the Critical Minerals Strategy lacks the foundation of a competitive fiscal framework, highlighted in the BC government’s transition to an Output-Based Carbon Pricing System (BC OBPS). BC’s mining and smelting industry supports a carbon price signal, but currently pays the highest carbon tax in Canada and the world, while having the lowest GHG emissions globally–with no opportunity to decarbonize further because zero-emission haul truck technologies are not expected to be commercially available before the end of the decade, at best.

It’s imperative existing and prospective critical mineral mines in BC pay a carbon tax that is competitive with Ontario and Quebec. If not, the OBPS will negatively impact investment decisions in BC and undermine the goals of the provincial government’s Critical Minerals Strategy.”

About the Mining Association of British Columbia
MABC is the voice of British Columbia’s steelmaking coal, metal and mineral producers, smelters and advanced development companies. Our industry benefits all British Columbians and supports more than 35,000 jobs and over 3,900 small, medium and indigenous affiliated businesses in every corner of the province through an annual spend of $3.7 billion on goods and services. Our members’ products have among the lowest carbon footprints globally and are helping the world transition to a cleaner, low-carbon future; safely and responsibly.

For more information
Jayne Czarnocki
Director, Communications
Mining Association of British Columbia
Cell: 778-957-2597