The centre forecasts that Canada’s overall northern metal and non-metallic mineral output will grow by 91 per cent by 2020. At the same time, B.C.'s mining output is predicted to grow by 300 per cent over the same time period. Employment is also expected to nearly quadruple to more than 4,800 jobs by 2020.
However, the Centre says that for this to happen, industry, governments and communities must try harder to address issues with infrastructure, skills shortages and Aboriginal rights.
Meanwhile, B.C. Premier Christy Clark is celebrating investments in her province's mining industry by announcing a $7 million investment to improve the permitting process. The funding will go towards making the permitting process for water, land and mining exploration more efficient, as well as bettering processing times and reducing the turnaround time for Notice of Work applications.
"British Columbia is blessed with an abundant supply of the resources the world needs and the most innovative mining and exploration sectors," says Clark. "This past year, we've seen the confidence they have in B.C. as exploration is up 47 per cent. We want those investments, which support families and communities, to continue, and we are showing our confidence by eliminating needless delays so the industry can create more well-paying jobs."
The province estimates exploration expenditures were $680 million in 2012, which is up 47 per cent from $462 million in 2011.
The Centre for the North's report is available online and for download below.