Our 50th annual BC mining report looks at some of the opportunities and challenges for the mining sector—a key contributor to the BC economy and Canada’s GDP.
Over the last 50 years, the industry has been through many commodity cycles. It’s now starting to bounce back from the most recent downturn that began after metal prices dropped from record or near-record highs in 2011.
While the industry still faces a number of economic and regulatory challenges, confidence appears to be returning amid steady global economic growth and a recovery in most metal and mineral prices. More investment is also being poured into the sector as compared to in the recent past.
Watch Bryan Cox, President and CEO of the Mining Association of British Columbia (MABC), speak about the resurgence in commodity prices in British Columbia and the opportunity he sees for the province to strengthen its position as one of the world’s leading mining jurisdictions.
Prices of most metals and minerals produced in the province continue to steadily recover from multi-year lows. While prices of most commodities are still below the highs achieved in 2011, the recent increases are part of an upward trend in the mining cycle.
Higher prices led to a significant increase in revenue and net income at mining companies across the province in 2017. The industry continues to emphasize its role as a key contributor to the BC economy, including as a major source of employment.
Overall, it was another year of continuous improvement, both from a financial standpoint and as the industry works to increase engagement and corporate social responsibility with stakeholders including governments, communities and Indigenous Peoples.
The industry is also embracing its role as a key producer and supplier in the new low-carbon economy. Minerals and metals such as copper, which we’ve focused on in this year’s report, are used in everything from wind turbines to electric vehicles, and the industry is well positioned to help society make the transition to a greener future.
Confidence has returned to the global mining industry and is evident across much of the industry in British Columbia. Not only are revenues, profits and job numbers up, but the mining sector is also considered a key player as the world transitions to a low-carbon economy.
While there will always be challenges—including the volatility of commodity prices, keeping costs down and attracting more investment by maintaining competitiveness—the future looks bright.