Plan for developing Bonanza Ledge mine near Barkerville uses spiral tunnel to reach gold below existing pit.

Signs of spring for B.C. mining industry

Gold projects at Barkerville and in the northwest moving ahead, as metal prices and steelmaking demand revive in Asia

The pending return of mining to Barkerville and an uptick of demand for iron ore in Asia are signs that the worldwide commodity slump may be coming to an end, says B.C. Energy and Mines Minister Bill Bennett.

In an interview after last week’s Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada convention in Toronto, Bennett said construction and steelmaking in China are key indicators of demand for metallurgical coal from Kootenay and South Peace mines, which have cut production due to poor international demand and low prices.

“I went there expecting the same as last year, with everyone being pessimistic, and instead I actually thought there was a fair bit of optimism, particularly for B.C.,” he said.

Bennett met with representatives of Barkerville Gold Mines Ltd., which plans to build an underground mine the historic region of the Cariboo gold rush of the 1860s. The company has reorganized, paid its debt and raised enough money to get the project into production this year, he said.

Barkerville Gold has been accumulating properties in the Cariboo since 1994. Its plan is to develop three sites, starting with the Bonanza Ledge mine at Barkerville Mountain, two kilometres northwest of the historic townsite from the placer mining boom.

Brucejack, an underground gold mine north-west of Smithers that was permitted last year, is also moving ahead.

“He’s got about 400 people working there now and he’s going to have 500 as the snow goes down,” Bennett said. “That’s as many people as are working at Site C. It’s happening out of sight, out of mind so nobody knows about it.”

 

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Floodwaters rise and fall in Grand Forks

The flood-ravaged Kootenay-Boundary region begins to heal

VIDEO: Grand Forks shores up defences as floodwaters rise to peak levels

Canadian Forces, volunteers working to protect low-lying areas

UPDATED: Majority of flood evacuees in Kootenay-Boundary allowed to return home

Officials hope to have all 3,000 people back in their homes by Monday night

VIDEO: As floodwaters recede, crews assess the damage to Grand Forks’ downtown

More than four dozen firefighters and building inspectors came out to help

VIDEO: Canadian Forces members begin helping out flooded B.C. communities

Three-hundred personnel in B.C. in some off hardest hit cities

VIDEO: After the floods, comes the cleanup in Grand Forks

Business owners in downtown wonder how long it will take for things to go back to normal

UPDATED: BC Ferries freezes plans to nix fuel rebates pending government funds

Claire Trevena says she is ‘extremely disappointed’ by a plan by BC Ferries to remove fuel rebates

B.C. sues Alberta over bill that could ‘turn oil taps off’

Lawsuit is the latest move in the two provinces’ ongoing feud over the Kinder Morgan pipeline

Liberal government introduces measures to update Canada’s family laws

Justice officials say there have not been substantial updates to federal family laws in 20 years

B.C. mom threatens legal action against sunscreen company

Caleb Jordan, 6, was covered in blisters 20 minutes after using Banana Boat sunscreen

BC Games Society president to step down

Kelly Mann says it’s time for a change after 26 years with the society

B.C. politicians framed by anonymous sticky-note doodler

Insider has been posting caricatures from the B.C. legislature to social media

27 years since initial police probe, polygamist leader to be sentenced in June

Prosecutor recommend up to 6 months jail, defence asks for conditional or absolute discharge

Governments kick in cash for B.C. farmers, food processors

Ottawa, Victoria contribute $14 million over five years to help develop new products, processes

Most Read