Michael Goehring, Mining Association of B.C CEO (left) with Kelowna Chamber of Commerce president Nikki Csek and William Gillette, dean of Okanagan College’s School of Business. (Alistair Waters - Black Press Media)

‘Latte-sipping urbanites’ need to realize value of mining in B.C., association head says

Industry generates a total of $3.9 billion in sales of goods and service across the province

The head of the Mining Association of B.C. says its important for “latte-sipping urbanites” to realize the value of mining to B.C.

Michael Goehring brought that message to Kelowna Thursday, telling the city’s chamber of commerce there are 100 companies in the city that supply more than $23 million in goods and services to the industry annually. Companies in Vernon and Penticton generate sales of another $21 million and $6 million respectively.

And it’s the same picture across the province with communities large and small generating a total of $3.9 billion in sales of goods and service to the industry.

B.C. has 17 mines and two smelters that account for 33,000 direct and indirect jobs and generate $12.3 billion year in economic activity, according to the mining association.

“Not a lot of people realize Vancouver is a big mining centre,” said Goehring, pointing to the fact there are 1,265 companies in Metro Vancouver that supply goods and services to the mining industry to the tune of nearly $1 billion a year.

Providing good paying jobs—the average salary in mining is $150,000 per year—the industry is the source of materials for not only this countries low carbon future, but that of other countries too through export, Goehring added.

Mining produces materials required for items such as solar panels, components for electric vehicles and coal for making steel. He said without mining, we would not have those materials.

And the industry, he added, has now eclipsed the once mighty forestry industry in B.C. when it comes to its contribution to the province’s gross domestic product.

According to the MABC CEO, last year mining contributed $7.3 billion to the province’s GDP, while forestry came in at $6.9 billion.

But while he painted a rosy picture of the industry in terms of its contribution to the province and its economy, he said mining also faces some still challenges, particularly in the form of the provincial carbon tax.

He said his association wants to see what he called a level playing field when it comes to the tax and want B.C. mines to pay the same amount in carbon tax that other mines across the country pay, something that does not happen now. That’s in part because the B.C. carbon tax is no longer revenue neutral.

Other “challenges” for the industry include what Goehring described as over regulation, as well as high taxation and growing electricity costs.

He said hydroelectricity costs in B.C., once seen as an advantage to mining, have risen 70 per cent in 10 years and coupled with complex regulation, is impacting the competitiveness of the province’s mines.

In the southern Interior, the closest mines to the Okanagan are the Copper Mountain Mine in Princeton and the New Afton gold mine and Highland Valley copper mines, both near Kamloops.

To report a typo, email:
newstips@kelownacapnews.com
.


@KelownaCapNews
newstips@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

mining

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Tough time for tree fruits as some B.C. farm products soar

Province reports record 2019 sales, largely due to cannabis

Six affordable homes slated for Lumby

The village and Habitat for Humanity enter agreement to build on Shields Avenue

COVID-19 cases at Oliver farm likely linked to Kelowna outbreak, says Interior Health

A team of doctors, nurses and health investigators are at the Krazy Cherry Farm to test employees

Lake Country motorhome fire deemed suspicious

Vehicle found fully engulfed Tuesday, July 14, just before 8:30 p.m.

Okanagan College bestows highest honour to five individuals

Couple from Westbank First Nation and men from Vernon, Kelowna and Shuswap named Honourary Fellows

21 new COVID-19 cases confirmed in B.C. as virus ‘silently circulates’ in broader community

Health officials urge British Columbians to enjoy summer safely as surge continues

Separate trials set for 2018 Kelowna Canada Day killing

Four people have been charged with manslaughter in relation to Esa Carriere’s death, including two youths

Kootnekoff: New workplace harassment and violence requirements

Susan Kootnekoff is the founder of Inspire Law, her diverse legal career spans over 20 years.

Dyer: Buying an electric car

Kristy Dyer is a columnist for Black Press Media who writes about the environment

Summerland Museum to hold walking tours

Community’s past will be explained during series of summer tours

Summerland mayor asks for community conversation following racist vandalism

Home of Indo-Canadian family in Summerland was targeted on evening of July 13

HERGOTT: Goodbye column

Paul Hergott is taking a break from writing for Black Press

Province agrees to multimillion-dollar payout for alleged victims of Kelowna social worker

Robert Riley Saunders is accused of misappropriating funds of children — often Indigenous — in his care

Wet June, dry July: Okanagan on track for hot summer

Environment Canada said the summer and early fall will most likely be warmer than average

Most Read