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By Gary Park 

B.C. aims to revitalize mining


Last updated 1/30/2005 at Noon

Mining can return to being a sunrise business in British Columbia, the province's Energy and Mines Minister Richard Neufeld said in unveiling a broad plan to build on the industry's recent recovery after a long slump through the 1990s.

He said mining has "come a long way in the past few years" and the new plan will "help to ensure that the resurgence of this historic and vital industry continues in the long term …"

In the 10 years after 1991 the number of operating mines in British Columbia dropped from 28 to 13 and exploration spending declined from C$100 million to C$22 million.

But the new century has seen a gradual improvement to C$130 million in 2004.

Pat Bell, minister of state for mining, said the plan will "enhance investment in responsible mining, ensuring progress in the mining sector continues and improves B.C's competitive position on the world scene."

The plan includes 14 broad strategies and 57 recommended actions to support four cornerstones:

• A focus on communities and First Nations, including a made-in-British Columbia approach to sustainable mining.

• Protecting workers and the environment.

• Global competitiveness, including measures to increase investment and further develop relevant skills and technologies.

• Access to land, including enhanced integration of exploration and mining with other land uses.


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