SEOUL, Korea - Premier Christy Clark today touted B.C.'s natural resources, competitive taxes and a highly skilled workforce to top Korean investors.
"Our government is committed to growing our economy to create jobs for British Columbians," said Premier Clark. "We want Korean investors to know that B.C. is open for business.
"We are unlocking our natural resources by making key investments in transportation infrastructure. We have already committed to having one LNG pipeline and terminal online by 2015 and three in operation by 2020, and we are supporting our mining sector with a commitment to open at least eight new mines and upgrade at least nine mines by 2015."
Premier Clark also highlighted the growing biomass trading relationship with Korea. "I am particularly pleased to see that our biomass industry is helping Korea meet their clean-energy targets," said Premier Clark. "Today we have two great B.C. companies, Nelson Bio-energy and Princeton Co-Generation Company, announcing that they will be supplying and shipping some 6,000 tonnes of B.C. wood pellets to Korea Welds Company in 2012. This is the start of a great commercial relationship that means jobs for British Columbians with growth already planned for 2013."
For her final day in Korea, Premier Clark began by hosting, along with B.C. mining delegates, a B.C. Mining Roundtable at which she spoke to Korean corporations with investment interests in B.C.'s mining and natural gas sectors. Premier Clark applauded their growing role in developing new projects, including POSCO's recent $181-million investment in the Mount Klappan metallurgical coal project in northwest B.C.
"This is why we are here - to tell investors that British Columbia's economy is on the move and now is the time to get in on the action," said Premier Clark. "We've got all the right conditions for growth and one of the key sectors in the BC Jobs Plan is mining, which is an extremely important sector because it creates high-paying jobs that support families."
In 2011, more than 29,000 people were employed in mineral exploration, mining and related sectors, and most of those jobs are located in rural B.C. By 2020 there will be an expected 10,000 additional job openings in those sectors, which is more great news for B.C. families.
More than 850 mining companies are already located in British Columbia. According to PricewaterhouseCoopers, mining in B.C. generated $9.9 billion in gross revenues in 2011, up $2 billion from $7.9 billion in 2010.
In the past year, B.C. has permitted five mines for expansion, as well as five new mines, including Copper Mountain Mine, which began production in June 2011, and four others announced under Canada Starts Here: The BC Jobs Plan - Mount Milligan by Prince George, New Afton by Kamloops, Barkerville by Quesnel and Red Chris by Dease Lake in northwest B.C.
The BC Jobs Plan aims to increase annual revenue from mining operations by $1.6 billion, create and sustain more than 15,000 direct and indirect well-paying jobs in B.C. and contribute more than $150 million a year towards government revenue.
The Premier then met with Korea Gas Corporation (KOGAS) to recognize their recent investments in B.C.'s natural gas industry. In February 2010, KOGAS signed an agreement to invest up to $565 million in developing gas plays at Kiwigana (Horn River basin) and West Cutbank (Montney) in northeastern B.C. Then, on Tuesday, KOGAS, in partnership with Shell Canada Limited, Mitsubishi Corporation, and PetroChina Company Limited announced that they will jointly develop an LNG export facility near Kitimat, called LNG Canada.
In a bilateral meeting with Korea's Ministry of Knowledge Economy, Premier Clark promoted B.C's green-energy sources and discussed areas for co-operation in bioenergy, hydrogen and fuel cell technology and green buildings.
Finally, Premier Clark met with Mr. Joon-Yang Chung, chairman and CEO of POSCO, to recognize POSCO's investments in British Columbia. Based in Korea, POSCO is the world's third-largest steel maker, Asia's most profitable steel maker, and fourth-largest Korean company, with global sales of over $62 billion.
POSCO's Canadian operations (POSCAN) are based in Vancouver - it is the largest Korean company in B.C., with annual exports of over $500 million. In addition to the Mount Klappen project, the company also has a 20-per-cent stake in Greenhills Mine near Elkford and a 2.5-per-cent stake in Elkview Mine in Sparwood.
Learn more about B.C.'s Mineral Exploration and Mining Strategy:
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation
Trade Mission Key Announcements for Friday, May 18
- Royal Roads University and the Institute of International Education at Kookmin University agreed to establish an institutional partnership.
- Nelson Bio Energy (of Vancouver, B.C.) will supply 6,000 tons of B.C. wood pellets produced by Princeton Co-Generation Company (of Princeton, B.C.,) to Korea Welds Company in 2012. In 2013, 10,000 tons will be supplied.
Key Facts - B.C. Mining Sector
- In 2011, the mining industry increased its production value by 20 per cent from the year before to approximately $8.6 billion.
- On May 15, 2012, PricewaterhouseCoopers reported a 25-per-cent increase in B.C.'s gross mining revenues, up $2 billion to $9.9 billion in 2011 from $7.9 billion in 2010.
- Exploration spending exceeded $460 million, an increase of 35 per cent from 2010 and 1,500 per cent higher than a decade ago.
- B.C. accounts for approximately 15 per cent of all exploration spending in Canada.
- In 2011, more than 29,000 people were employed in mineral exploration, mining and related sectors, mostly in rural B.C.
- More than 10,000 job openings are expected in B.C.'s mineral exploration and mining sector by 2020.
- B.C. currently has 19 operating major mines, nine metal and 10 coal.
- B.C. is Canada's single largest exporter of coal, largest producer of copper and only producer of molybdenum.
- Mineral tax revenues for 2011/12 were valued at more than $350 million.
BC Jobs Plan
As committed in Canada Starts Here: the BC Jobs Plan, eight new mines will open and nine will be expanded by 2015. This will result in:
- An increase in annual mine-operation revenue by $1.6 billion.
- Approximately 2,000 construction jobs.
- 2,000 new direct jobs and 3,000 indirect jobs.
- Sustaining 12,500 existing jobs (5,000 direct and 7,500 indirect); and over $150 million annually in government revenue.
Three new major mines are under construction and a fourth was recently permitted with construction expected to start this year:
- Copper Mountain Mine - Began construction in June 2011.
- Mt. Milligan Copper-Gold Mine, expected to begin production in the second half of 2013.
- New Afton Copper-Gold-Silver Mine, expected to begin production as early as this June.
- Bonanza Ledge Gold Mine, expected to begin production once the QR Mill is approved and fully operational.
Since the Jobs Plan was released, the Province has approved five major expansions of existing mines:
- Highland Valley Copper Mine
- Huckleberry Copper-Molybdenum Mine
- Quinsam Coal Mine
- Elkview Coal Mine
- Endako Molybdenum Mine
B.C. is Canada's single largest exporter of coal, largest producer of copper and only producer of molybdenum.
Mineral tax revenues for 2011/12 were valued at nearly $400 million.
B.C. has an AAA credit rating, due in part to responsible budgeting.
British Columbia's Competitive Advantage
Reducing red tape:
- Mineral Titles Online will soon be upgraded to include coal tenure acquisition, administrative and management capabilities.
- In 2012, The Province will revise regulations to exempt low-risk exploration and mining activities from requiring Mines Act permits.
- As committed in the BC Jobs Plan, the Province and the federal government are working to develop a single, effective environmental assessment process while maintaining the highest standards.
- Since the launch of the BC Jobs Plan, the Province has reduced the backlog of Notice of Work applications with an average turnaround time of 60 days and has a target of 80-per-cent reduction by August 2012.
- B.C. is home to the world's largest concentration of professional geologists and over 850 mineral exploration and development companies.
- The Province has royalty programs and several tax incentives including a federal-provincial corporate tax of 25 per cent, the lowest of the G7 countries.
- Once completed, key infrastructure such as The Northwest Transmission Line, will support mine development.
- B.C.'s geoscience information is readily and publicly available through British Columbia Geological Survey (BCGS), Geoscience BC and online through Provincial resources.
- Chinese companies' investment of $1.36 billion in coal mine developments in B.C.'s northeast and the Premier's Jobs and Trade Mission to Asia in 2011, strengthened existing relationships with Asia-Pacific and facilitated future opportunities.
- In partnership with the British Columbia Mineral Exploration and Mining Industry Labour Shortage Task Force, the Province will facilitate skills development and integrate skilled workers from other provinces and countries to address the sector's skills shortage
- The Regional Workforce Tables and stakeholders will be consulted to ensure that human resources initiatives are aligned with regional needs
Stay up to Date with the Trade Mission
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Follow the Asia Trade Mission at:
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation