The Association for Mineral Exploration (AME) hosted both an in-person and online conference in Vancouver, British Columbia January 31 to February 3.
Hon. Bruce Ralston, Minister of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation, announced a near record-setting $659.8 million total exploration expenditure for 2021. “Mineral exploration and mine development are fundamental and essential industries in BC and will continue to play a critical role in the growth of our province and the transition to a low-carbon economy. We are proud of the direction we are moving in and continue to promote investor confidence and foster partnerships between government and industry to promote our resource industry locally, nationally and internationally,” said Ralston during the AME Roundup 2022 Opening Ceremonies.
“With demand for the minerals and metals we discover soaring to meet the needs of a low carbon economy, we understand the acute importance of the critical role we play in achieving net-zero goals,” continued Johnston.
As in past Roundups, the conference featured speakers with presentations covering a wide variety of exploration, development and mining projects as well as being a platform for Indigenous discussions. First Nations wish to be more involved in the mineral exploration process in their territories.
The conference was highlighted by presentations and sessions dealing with ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) topics. Numerous mining companies have indicated a desire to make their projects net zero carbon.
AME BC also released Explore our Economy, a new economic impact study in partnership with iTOTEM Analytics, quantifying the significant economic and social impacts of the mineral exploration industry in British Columbia in 2020.
“Our members discover new projects that develop into the operating mines that produce the minerals and metals needed for everyday life. Explore our Economy demonstrates how the mineral exploration industry is essential to thousands of businesses and people in all corners of the province, helping to ensure a strong and vibrant provincial economy for generations to come,” said Kendra Johnston, AME President & CEO.
“Our industry also aims to be a leader in reconciliation with Indigenous peoples through collaboration, shared planning, and procurement. This report demonstrates how vital Indigenous-affiliated business and collaborative partnerships are to mineral exploration, and how these relationships can advance reconciliation and economic advancement for Indigenous communities,” said Johnston.
BC continues to be a centre of excellence for mineral exploration. Mineral explorers are the research and development arm of the global mining industry, the place where major mining producers invest to access the reserves and resources that feed the global supply chain and unlock the potential lying in the ground.
BC is ideally positioned to meet the growing global demand for clean energy materials and is host to world-class mineral resources; approximately 1,100 mineral exploration companies fostering a global centre of excellence; and a diverse, reliable and regionally dispersed exploration supply chain.
Huge volumes of metals including copper, gold and nickel, together with critical minerals, are required for electric vehicles, renewable energy generation, energy storage and transmission, medical technologies and more.