Although it likely escaped everyoneâ€™s notice in the hectic shopping days before Christmas, there was some very good news in mid-December for the B.C. mining industry and the B.C. economy: the federal government announced approval of the KSM gold and copper mine in the northwest of the B.C. near the Alaska border.
The KSM mine is thought to be the largest undeveloped gold reserve in the world and is more evidence of the enormous natural resource wealth we have in this province. The company developing the mine project (Seabridge Gold) spent six years and $200 million diligently and patiently working with governments, local First Nations, and even the state of Alaska to bring the project to this stage.
Needless to say, six years is a long time and $200 million is a lot of money. The time and money invested are a stark reminder that the mine approval process remains onerously long and comes with a very high level of risk. The same can be said for all resource industries in B.C. that go through the approval process.
Iâ€™m all for environmental protection and making sure the impact of mining and other resource operations are minimized and mitigated, but surely our governments â€“ both federal and provincial â€“ should be able streamline and shorten the approval process and reduce the risk involved.
Doing so would lead to increased economic growth and the creation of many more high-paying jobs in the mining industry and the industries that supply and support mining.
Letâ€™s make 2015 the year in which our governments finally take meaningful action to streamline the approval process and reduce the risk that stifles economic growth and job creation.
Fred Reemeyer, Coquitlam