VICTORIA, B.C. — Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources Minister Michelle Mungall announced today that her Ministry has established a B.C. Mining Jobs Task Force to find ways to strengthen the province’s mining industry.

According to the Ministry, the mineral exploration and mining industry employs more than 30,000 people across the province and adds over $6 billion to B.C.’s GDP. B.C. is Canada’s largest producer of copper, largest exporter of steelmaking coal, and is home to Canada’s only molybdenum mines. The mining industry is also the largest private-sector employer of Indigenous people in Canada.

The 12-member task force will include representatives from industry, First Nations, municipal government, an environmental non-governmental organization, labour, post-secondary/training and the financial sector. The task force will submit its final report, including recommendations for legislative and/or regulatory amendments, to the minister by November 21st.

“Over the coming months, the B.C. Mining Jobs Task Force will work with First Nations, the mining industry and communities to develop recommendations on possible actions government could take to bring more certainty to the mining sector and create good jobs for people today, tomorrow and beyond,” said Mungall. “One of our goals with this review is to find ways to ensure mines in B.C. remain viable when commodity prices fluctuate, so that people can keep working and communities can thrive.”

Mungall announced the Mining Jobs Task Force in conjunction with Mining Day events at the parliament buildings. Organized by the Mining Association of BC, the annual Mining Day in Victoria brings together 40 delegates from major mining companies, proponents and supplier companies, and provides an opportunity for industry and government to discuss the importance of the sector, while identifying responsible opportunities for growth.

“We look forward to working with the government, First Nations and other important stakeholders on the task force to ensure our industry is globally competitive and well positioned to sustain the mining jobs of today and, importantly, create the mining jobs of tomorrow,” said Bryan Cox, president and CEO of MABC. “A strong and thriving B.C. mining industry can continue to play a pivotal leadership role in Canada’s transition to a clean tech, lower-carbon future, for the benefit of B.C. families and workers.”

At today’s announcement, Mungall also highlighted the B.C. mining flow-through share tax credit, which was extended in last week’s Budget. The tax credit was previously set to expire on December 31, 2017.