Bennett signs mining MOU with Chile
B.C. and the Republic of Chile signed a three-year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that will help expand co-operation, trade, investment and research to develop the mining industry, Minister of Energy and Mines Bill Bennett announced today.
Bennett signed the MOU on behalf of the province while in Toronto at this year’s Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) International Convention, Trade Show & Investors Exchange. PDAC is one of the world’s largest mineral exploration and mining conferences, attracting 25,000 attendees from over 100 countries.
“PDAC brings together mineral exploration and mining industry leaders from across the globe to share experiences and discuss challenges and opportunities. Latin American countries looking to grow and develop their mining industries see B.C. as an example to follow and many B.C. firms supply Chile and other Latin American countries with equipment and services,” stated Bennett, Kootenay East MLA. “This MOU between B.C. and Chile will support even more collaboration and partnership.”
Earlier this week, at a forum hosted by the World Bank Group at PDAC, Bennett was the only North American panelist invited to speak on the future of mining in Latin America. The forum identified the successful rebuild of B.C.’s mining industry as an excellent case study for Latin American countries to follow.
“Chile is a world leader in mining; the first copper producer in the world and also is one of the most important producers of other minerals, like lithium, molybdenum, gold, silver and rhenium. Our country offers the best conditions for long-term investment; our country also enjoys stable institutions, and provides a most friendly political and economic environment to foreign capital and investment,” said Ignacio Moreno, Chilean Vice Minister of Mining.
Since June 2011, five new mines have opened in British Columbia and seven existing mines have expanded, creating over 1,300 new jobs. B.C. is also home to over 1,000 mineral exploration firms and mine development companies including many that supply Chile and other Latin American companies with mining equipment and services.
“Mining is a global industry. Recognizing the importance of research and development, talent mobility and best practices, this is a significant opportunity to collaborate and build long-term partnerships,” pointed out Karina Brino, president and CEO of the Mining Association of British Columbia.
The Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada was established in 1932 and represents the interests of the Canadian mineral exploration and development industry.
The value of mineral and coal production in B.C. increased from $2.9 billion in 2001 to nearly $7 billion in 2013.
Mineral exploration has grown exponentially since 2001. In 2001 exploration spending was $29.1 million, and in 2014 it was $338 million.
B.C. accounts for approximately 21% of all exploration spending in Canada; in 2001 that figure was less than 6%.
In 2014, more than 30,000 people were employed in mining, mineral exploration, and related sectors in B.C., more than double the 14,700 in 2001.