VANCOUVER - Energy and Mines Minister Bill Bennett announced today that the Province will provide $5 million in funding to Geoscience BC to support its work encouraging mineral and energy exploration investment and informed land-use decisions for the benefit of all British Columbians.
For the last 10 years, Geoscience BC, a non-profit society, has worked in partnership with First Nations, communities, local governments and the resource sector to attract mineral and oil and gas investment to B.C. through the generation, interpretation and delivery of earth science information.
The data collected by Geoscience BC provides the public and industry with advanced knowledge of B.C.’s mineral and energy development potential. Since its inception, Geoscience BC has accumulated data for more than 520,000 square kilometres of the province.
Geoscience BC plans to invest in new projects throughout the province and will continue to support its major projects, such as TREK (Targeting Resources through Exploration and Knowledge). TREK focuses on B.C.'s Interior Plateau region, a highly prospective area for mineral resources, and has also included research into geothermal potential in the region — important for First Nations and off-grid communities in the region that rely on propane and diesel fuel for heat and power.
New regional-scale projects, which help to stimulate mineral exploration by assisting the exploration community in their evaluation of the potential for new discoveries, will also be supported by the provincial funding.
Geoscience BC will also use a portion of the funding to continue its work on the Peace Project, which supports the responsible use and management of northeast B.C.’s water resources. This collaborative project will provide First Nations, communities, local governments and the resource sector with an inventory of ground water aquifer information in this natural-gas-rich region, which will help facilitate responsible resource management.
Geoscience BC was established in 2005 through a $25-million investment from the B.C. government. Since that time and including the funding announced today, the Province has provided more than $30 million in funding to Geoscience BC to help further mineral and energy geoscience initiatives. B.C. is the only province in Canada that uses an organization such as Geoscience BC to assist in the delivery of public geoscience.
Bill Bennett, Minister of Energy and Mines -
“This funding ensures that B.C. continues to benefit from reliable geoscience information that informs responsible resource development and land-use decisions. The data collected by Geoscience BC — together with a vibrant exploration sector — will continue to stimulate further investment in our province. Funding this important organization is a sustainable investment in B.C.’s future.”
Rich Coleman, Deputy Premier, Minister of Natural Gas Development and Responsible for Housing -
“We recognize the critical role that Geoscience BC plays in helping resource development in the Province. The ongoing work Geoscience BC conducts through the Montney Water Project is an excellent example of how they collect accurate data which enables us to responsibly manage natural gas drilling in the Montney gas field.”
Robin Archdekin, president and CEO, Geoscience BC -
“We greatly appreciate this vote of confidence from the Province of B.C., demonstrating its ongoing support of Geoscience BC and our continued delivery of programs that drive sustainable investment in B.C.’s mineral and energy resources. This support for projects that involve First Nations and communities in the delivery of high-quality earth science information will continue to attract the interest that generates jobs.”
Dallas Smith, president and CEO of the Nanwakolas Council and Geoscience BC director -
“A source of credible earth science information is in everyone’s best interest; First Nations when considering land access, use and resource development. This is where Geoscience BC plays a vital role. I am pleased that the provincial government is continuing to support the benefits geoscience brings to First Nations and communities.”
For more information on mineral exploration and investment in B.C., visit: http://www.empr.gov.bc.ca/MINING/GEOSCIENCE/Pages/default.aspx
Geoscience BC: http://www.geosciencebc.com/s/Home.asp
Ministry of Energy and Mines