Editor, The Times:
I was talking to a geologist recently and she told me something very interesting: people in the forestry industry are often the first to locate commercially viable mineral deposits.
Although it sounded counterintuitive, it actually made sense to me when I thought about it. In the process of logging and replanting an area of forest, loggers see the ground, its rocks and its contours, in a very up close and personal way. For me, what she said really underscored the ‘needle-in-a-haystack’ challenge that mineral exploration represents.
Even though trained geologists and experienced prospectors use science, logic and technology to narrow their search for minerals, locating viable mineral deposits among hayfields of ordinary rock is still very much a matter of educated good fortune.
To give you an example of how big the challenge is, consider the fact that British Columbia has a land area of nearly a million square kilometres, yet all of the land in the province devoted to mining would fit into an area less than the area covered by Victoria.
Valuable minerals can potentially be found almost anywhere in our province. And our modern way of life depends on making sure the search continues and is ongoing. The challenges are great but so are the rewards; not only for those who find the minerals but for all of us who avail ourselves of the products made from minerals every day.
We rarely stop to think about the materials that surround us, but I’m glad I stopped for a moment to think about the search for minerals and what it means to my life and that of everyone else in this province.
North Vancouver, B.C.