Michael Goehring, Mining Association of B.C CEO (left) with Kelowna Chamber of Commerce president Nikki Csek and William Gillette, dean of Okanagan College’s School of Business. (Alistair Waters - Black Press Media)

‘Latte-sipping urbanites’ need to realize value of mining in B.C., association head says

Industry generates a total of $3.9 billion in sales of goods and service across the province

The head of the Mining Association of B.C. says its important for “latte-sipping urbanites” to realize the value of mining to B.C.

Michael Goehring brought that message to Kelowna Thursday, telling the city’s chamber of commerce there are 100 companies in the city that supply more than $23 million in goods and services to the industry annually. Companies in Vernon and Penticton generate sales of another $21 million and $6 million respectively.

And it’s the same picture across the province with communities large and small generating a total of $3.9 billion in sales of goods and service to the industry.

B.C. has 17 mines and two smelters that account for 33,000 direct and indirect jobs and generate $12.3 billion year in economic activity, according to the mining association.

“Not a lot of people realize Vancouver is a big mining centre,” said Goehring, pointing to the fact there are 1,265 companies in Metro Vancouver that supply goods and services to the mining industry to the tune of nearly $1 billion a year.

Providing good paying jobs—the average salary in mining is $150,000 per year—the industry is the source of materials for not only this countries low carbon future, but that of other countries too through export, Goehring added.

Mining produces materials required for items such as solar panels, components for electric vehicles and coal for making steel. He said without mining, we would not have those materials.

And the industry, he added, has now eclipsed the once mighty forestry industry in B.C. when it comes to its contribution to the province’s gross domestic product.

According to the MABC CEO, last year mining contributed $7.3 billion to the province’s GDP, while forestry came in at $6.9 billion.

But while he painted a rosy picture of the industry in terms of its contribution to the province and its economy, he said mining also faces some still challenges, particularly in the form of the provincial carbon tax.

He said his association wants to see what he called a level playing field when it comes to the tax and want B.C. mines to pay the same amount in carbon tax that other mines across the country pay, something that does not happen now. That’s in part because the B.C. carbon tax is no longer revenue neutral.

Other “challenges” for the industry include what Goehring described as over regulation, as well as high taxation and growing electricity costs.

He said hydroelectricity costs in B.C., once seen as an advantage to mining, have risen 70 per cent in 10 years and coupled with complex regulation, is impacting the competitiveness of the province’s mines.

In the southern Interior, the closest mines to the Okanagan are the Copper Mountain Mine in Princeton and the New Afton gold mine and Highland Valley copper mines, both near Kamloops.

To report a typo, email:
newstips@kelownacapnews.com
.


@KelownaCapNews
newstips@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

mining

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

Just Posted

Young Abbotsford cancer survivor rides 105-km with Terry Fox’s brother

Jacob Bredenhof and Darrell Fox’s cycling trek raises almost $90,000 for cancer research

Abbotsford parents upset as district gets cohort exemption to maximizes class sizes at elementary school

Classes and cohorts shuffled after division eliminated at King Traditional elementary school

B.C. families financially affected by pandemic eligible for grocery gift cards

Program open to struggling families in Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley communities

‘Each step is a prayer’: Ojibwe man will walk from Hope to Vancouver Island for Indigenous healing, reconciliation

James Taylor departs Sept. 20, returns to Saanich in five days for sacred fire

COLUMN: We don’t need an election. But it’s 2020, so we’ll probably get one anyways.

There are only selfish reasons for the NDP to trigger an election this fall

B.C. or Ontario? Residential school survivors fight move of court battle

It’s now up to Ontario’s Court of Appeal to sort out the venue question

B.C. transportation minister will not seek re-election

Claire Trevena has held the position since 2017

VIDEO: Shots fired outside Langley gas station that was scene of 2018 homicide

No reports of injuries in Saturday evening incident

B.C. migrant, undocumented workers rally for permanent residency program

Rally is part of the Amnesty for Undocumented Workers Campaign led by the Migrant Workers Centre

Preparations underway for pandemic election in Saskatchewan and maybe B.C.

Administrators in B.C. and around the country are also looking to expand voting by mail during the pandemic

Nearly 20 per cent of COVID-19 infections among health-care workers by late July

WHO acknowledged the possibility that COVID-19 might be spread in the air under certain conditions

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Ferry riders say lower fares are what’s most needed to improve service

Provincial government announces findings of public engagement process

Air quality advisory ends for the Lower Mainland

It had been in effect since Sept. 8

Most Read