VANCOUVER (miningweekly.com) – British Columbia's mining industry remained upbeat in 2017, as prices for most metals and minerals produced in the province continued to steadily recover from multiyear lows.
Although most commodity prices remain below the record highs seen in 2011, the recent increases are part of an upward trend in the mining cycle, states PwC Canada's fiftieth annual report on the mining industry.
Strong performance for the sector in 2017 has meant higher prices - leading to a 35% increase in gross revenue from mining operations across the province. Gross mining revenue from British Columbia operations came in at C$11.7-billion in 2017, compared with C$8.7-billion in 2016.
"Confidence has returned to the British Columbia mining industry. Commodity prices have increased and we haven't seen such positivity since the recovery following the 2008/9 global financial crisis. We are cautiously optimistic that the worst is behind us and that the industry will continue to recover," British Columbia mining leader Mark Platt said in a statement.
The survey, part of PwC Canada's Canadian mine series, also highlights some of the opportunities and challenges for the mining sector, which is a key contributor to the British Columbia economy and Canada's gross domestic product. The industry is well positioned as a key producer and supplier in the new low-carbon economy, with the province’s production of metals and minerals used in, or that are instrumental in producing components for, everything from wind turbines to electric vehicles.
The industry has come a long way since 1968, the first year that the survey was prepared, when the price of gold was trading at about $35/oz, copper was trading around $0.50/lb and the Britannia mine – now a museum – was still producing copper, gold, silver and other metals and minerals.