Plan for developing Bonanza Ledge mine near Barkerville uses spiral tunnel to reach gold below existing pit.

Signs of spring for B.C. mining industry

Gold projects at Barkerville and in the northwest moving ahead, as metal prices and steelmaking demand revive in Asia

The pending return of mining to Barkerville and an uptick of demand for iron ore in Asia are signs that the worldwide commodity slump may be coming to an end, says B.C. Energy and Mines Minister Bill Bennett.

In an interview after last week’s Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada convention in Toronto, Bennett said construction and steelmaking in China are key indicators of demand for metallurgical coal from Kootenay and South Peace mines, which have cut production due to poor international demand and low prices.

“I went there expecting the same as last year, with everyone being pessimistic, and instead I actually thought there was a fair bit of optimism, particularly for B.C.,” he said.

Bennett met with representatives of Barkerville Gold Mines Ltd., which plans to build an underground mine the historic region of the Cariboo gold rush of the 1860s. The company has reorganized, paid its debt and raised enough money to get the project into production this year, he said.

Barkerville Gold has been accumulating properties in the Cariboo since 1994. Its plan is to develop three sites, starting with the Bonanza Ledge mine at Barkerville Mountain, two kilometres northwest of the historic townsite from the placer mining boom.

Brucejack, an underground gold mine north-west of Smithers that was permitted last year, is also moving ahead.

“He’s got about 400 people working there now and he’s going to have 500 as the snow goes down,” Bennett said. “That’s as many people as are working at Site C. It’s happening out of sight, out of mind so nobody knows about it.”

 

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

Just Posted

Conflict expert explains how to talk to people who aren’t social distancing

Approach the conversation with empathy says conflict expert

COVID-19: Managing your mental health from isolation

Ministry of Mental Health, Addictions recommends numerous strategies for self-care during pandemic

Saanich moves forward with summer camp registration despite COVID-19

District to give full refunds if camps are cancelled

Sunday morning fire damages Victoria gas station

The fire on Fairfield Road caused $75,000 in estimated damages to tires and automotive equipment

‘Better days will return’: Queen Elizabeth delivers message amid COVID-19 pandemic

The Queen said crisis reminds her of her first address during World War II in 1940

Emergency aid portal opens Monday, cash could be in bank accounts by end of week: Trudeau

Emergency benefit will provide $2,000 a month for those who have lost their income due to COVID-19

Education, not enforcement: B.C. bylaw officers keeping a watch on physical distancing

A kind word, it turns out, has usually been all people need to hear

COVID-19: Hospitals remain safe for childbirth, say Vancouver Island care providers

North Island Hospital has been asked to share its perinatal COVID-19 response plan

Canadian cadets to mark 103rd anniversary of Vimy Ridge April 9 virtually

Idea of Captain Billie Sheridan in Williams Lake, B.C. who wondered what to do in times of COVID-19

B.C. VIEWS: Pandemic shows need for adequate care home staffing

Seniors in B.C. care homes face challenging times

QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Take this test and find out how well you know Canada’s most popular winter sport

Researchers look at humidity as a weapon in the fight against airborne viruses

Regular hand washing, physical distancing and PPE for health care workers remains best line of defense

Most Read