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The Association for Mineral Exploration releases Explore Our Economy report on industry’s contribution to regional economies, Indigenous reconciliation, and a low carbon future

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The Association for Mineral Exploration releases Explore Our Economy report on industry’s contribution to regional economies, Indigenous reconciliation, and a low carbon future






The Association for Mineral Exploration (“AME”) has 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.



Indigenous-affiliated business and collaborative partnerships are vital to mineral exploration.

Mineral exploration companies spent $513.5 million in BC in 2020, recorded by Natural Resources Canada. Explore our Economy received and analyzed detailed spending data for $148M of the total spend in the province, accounting for approximately 29% of the total BC exploration expenditure during that year. This investment by the industry supported 445 vendors in 110 municipalities and Indigenous Nations across the province.



Yesterday, 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 Mister 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.



BC is 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. The top ten municipalities where exploration expenditures were made in 2020 span the entire province and include Smithers, Vancouver, Prince George, Kamloops, Stewart, Langley, Squamish, Burns Lake, Terrace and North Vancouver.



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. These metals occur naturally in BC where AME members are already exploring using the latest technology and following the highest environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards.



“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.



Mineral exploration projects bring value to Indigenous communities through employment, direct investments, building capacity, and supporting Indigenous-affiliated businesses and local initiatives. Indigenous businesses are essential partners and vendors in the mineral exploration supply chain. In BC, 21% of mineral exploration were spent with Indigenous-affiliated vendors. In comparison, federal agencies are striving for Indigenous vendors to hold 5% of public contracts by 2024.



The report was unveiled yesterday during the AME Roundup, where Kendra Johnston was joined by Deputy Minister Fazil Mihlar, Ministry of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation and Colleen Sweet, Founder of iTotem Analytics for the announcement.



To view the Explore Our Economy report:



AME Roundup 2022 is on now through Thursday, February 3, 2022. You can register throughout the week. All content will be on-demand and made available to attendees online for six months post-conference. Join us from anywhere in the world!


About AME


Located on the unceded traditional territories of the Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh and Musqueam First Nations, AME is the lead association for the mineral exploration and development industry based in British Columbia. Established in 1912, AME represents, advocates and promotes the interests of almost 5,000 members who are engaged in mineral exploration and development in B.C. and globally. AME encourages a safe, economically strong and environmentally responsible industry by providing clear initiatives, policies, events and tools to support its membership in delivering responsible projects that advance reconciliation and provide benefit to all British Columbians.

Posted February 1, 2022

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