BC residents show strong support for critical minerals development – survey

30th May 2023

By: Creamer Media Reporter


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Three-quarters of British Columbians would like to see the province become a world leader in supplying critical minerals that are vital to clean technologies and fighting climate change, according to a recent survey undertaken for the Mining Association of British Columbia (MABC) by Spark*Insights and Abacus Data.

“There is strong public support and recognition of the importance of critical minerals in every region of our province, across generations, and across the political spectrum,” said MABC president and CEO Michael Goehring.

“Critical minerals are the essential building blocks for clean technologies like solar panels, wind turbines, batteries, and electric vehicles. Without them we can’t reach our climate goals.”

“The need for critical minerals has changed the conversation on mining. Today, British Columbians see responsible mining as a way to grow our economy and fight climate change,” said Goehring.

Many of the minerals on Canada’s critical minerals list are found or produced in British Columbia, including aluminium, antimony, bismuth, cadmium, chromium, cobalt, copper, germanium, indium, lead, molybdenum, niobium, silver, tantalum, tungsten and zinc.

British Columbia is also home to rare earth minerals, and two world-class nickel deposits. All are vital to the environmental, economic and national security goals of Canada and our allies.

The survey found over 80% of British Columbians support the province’s mining sector. Eighty-eight per cent of British Columbians view economic opportunities from mining as excellent, very good or good, while 73% say the environmental standards that apply to BC mining are excellent, very good or good.

“We are very pleased with British Columbians’ high level of support for mining and the widespread recognition that we mine responsibly and safely, while providing economic benefits for Indigenous and local communities throughout the province,” said Goehring.

When asked whether they want to see more or less mining investment and jobs in British Columbia, 72% of British Columbians said they support the provincial government taking steps to encourage more investment and jobs in mining.

“British Columbia residents are broadly supportive of public policy that encourages investment and job growth in mining. The public sees significant benefits from mining, including good jobs, opportunities to advance economic reconciliation with Indigenous people and secure revenue for the provincial government,” noted Goehring.

The survey also explored views on permitting and authorisations processes for new mines. When informed it can take up to 15 years to obtain government approvals to build a new mine, 64% of respondents felt it should be possible to reduce regulatory complexity and permitting timeframes without compromising environmental protection or health.

“The most revealing finding in our data is the public enthusiasm for mining and the significant support in British Columbia for supplying the critical minerals the world needs to transition to a low carbon future,” said Spark*Insights chief strategy officer and partner, Bruce Anderson.

“British Columbians are broadly interested in seeing the province play a leadership role in critical minerals, and are open to a variety of ideas that make it possible for BC to permit mines in a timelier way.”

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter



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