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.”

 

Just Posted

Home care complaints up 45% on Vancouver Island

Number of home care hours delivered down 6%, complaints up 45 %

Changes coming to proposed condo project near Elk Lake

Mike Geric Construction has informed neighbourhood association of possible changes

More than 115 people attend UVic blood drive

Canadian Blood Services says UVic is a target location to create lifetime donors

Parkland musical theatre lights up the stage with Grease

North Saanich school stages show Jan. 30 to Feb. 2

Ousted legislature officials say report released to further blacken their reputations

James and Lenz say release was ‘Contrary to all principles of fairness and decent treatment’

New Canada Food Guide nixes portion sizes, promotes plant-based proteins

Guide no longer lists milk and dairy products as a distinct food group

Pioneering Telegraph Cove whale watching company cast adrift after 38 years

Stubbs Island Whale Watching announced it is ceasing operation

POLL: Should people have to license their cats?

The Victoria Natural History Society has sent letters to 13 municipalities in… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Jan. 15

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Giant ice disk equipped with webcam after surviving storm

Westbrook official Tina Radel says the livestream was requested by Brown University

B.C. animators land Oscar nominations

‘Animal Behaviour’ by Vancouver’s David Fine and Alison Snowden among several Canadians on the short list

B.C. legislature managers accused of excessive travel, personal expense claims

Clerk Craig James, security chief Gary Lenz call allegations ‘completely false’

One-third of pregnant women think cannabis won’t harm their baby: UBC

Review of six U.S. studies found doctors didn’t communicate health risks of pot use

Viewing area at Sooke Potholes likely to remain closed

Officials concerned about safety following rockslide last week

Most Read