President & CEO, Association for Mineral Exploration BC
Innovation and digital technology are constantly shaping the future of mineral exploration ensuring lower adverse environmental and social impacts. Opportunities are opening for a younger generation with a desire to innovate and use new exploration technology like drones, machine learning technology and 3D visualization to find, examine and communicate about mineral deposits.
Mineral exploration companies will act early, work with their local communities to identify these risks, assess potential impacts, and build resilience to climate change within the organization and within their local communities. Most mineral exploration companies understand that projects need to help develop economies and uplift people through investment, skills transfer, opportunity creation and quality of life improvement. Today, the way that companies conduct exploration is with a focus on environmental risks and Indigenous concerns at the earliest stages of a project. In British Columbia, mineral exploration is a key driver of a thriving local economy and a considerable contributor to the business and individual tax base in more remote regions across the province. As seen in the employment and spending patterns, the industry has an extensive value and supply chain that contributes to more than 150 local communities.
To the provincial government’s credit, policies have been developed to invest in innovation for a better and more successful future. The BC Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources is mandated to further connect the technology and innovation sector with the mineral exploration and mining industry, and to showcase made-in-B.C. technologies that are contributing to industrial competitiveness or helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The B.C. government’s 2019 budget set aside $20 million over three years to implement the recommendations from the BC Mining Jobs Task Force (MJTF), which was created in 2018 to work with Indigenous peoples, labour, educators, the mining industry, communities and other concerned constituencies to develop actions government should take to grow the mining sector and create good jobs for people across the Province. BC has a long tradition of academic and geoscientific research that fosters innovation in mineral exploration and mining, and last year the government provided $1 million in funding for a mining innovation roadmap to create a global hub for research and innovation. All these actions will continue to drive a progressive, inclusive and innovative industry that continues to contribute meaningfully to people’s daily lives.
About the Association for Mineral Exploration British Columbia (AME)
AME is the lead association for the mineral exploration and development industry based in British Columbia. Established in 1912, AME represents, advocates, protects, and promotes the interests of thousands of members who are engaged in mineral exploration and development in BC and throughout the world.