BC Mining Month—“Mining Our Future”

Attend an event near you to join the conversation about the future of mining in British Columbia.

by Jillian Clark
Bryan Cox, CEO of MABC, leads advocacy and education initiatives for the mining industry.

Bryan Cox, CEO of MABC, leads advocacy and education initiatives for the mining industry. — Photo courtesy MABC

Those living and working in British Columbia are familiar with Mining Week. This year, however, the Mining Association of British Columbia (MABC) has claimed the entire month of May to be Mining Month. The reason is simple: growth. “What we’ve found over the years is the events have grown organically,” said Bryan Cox, CEO of MABC. “As communities grow and become aware of the mining opportunities, they have started to up the participation.”

Mining Week, and now Mining Month, is overseen by MABC, but largely organized by individual communities. MABC is eager to see the community uptake in the province. “We are looking forward to having a conversation about our industry across the entire month of May,” Cox said.

Mining Our Future

MABC arrived at the theme of Mining Our Future from the opportunities the organization sees in the industry right now. “We have a real opportunity as we transition to low-carbon clean technology,” said Cox. Mining is at the centre of this transition, especially when it comes to creating the technology necessary for renewables.

A few facts: British Columbia is the largest producer of copper and steel-making coal in Canada. B.C. is also the second largest producer of silver, and the province is the only producer of molybdenum. These products are used every day, even though many people don’t realize it. As the transition to electric vehicles, solar panels and wind turbines is made in the coming years, those commodities will prove to be even more essential.

A specific example: “The amount of copper that will be required is significant. You think about an electric car—they can require four times more copper than a regular combustion engine,” Cox said. And this transition is happening faster than anyone thought it could on a global scale.

“That’s where the theme Mining Our Future comes from,” he said. “We also want to talk about what we are doing already. (The theme) also talks to the community about the ties that bind us. We are an industry that connects to literally every industry in the province in B.C.” By working with the communities to organize their events with this general theme, each community can tailor their individual conversations to the contributions they make. “Mining Month is driven by the local communities. The theme lets us talk about the industry on multiple levels.”

MABC's electric car is wrapped in messages that explain what materials are mined to create a single car.

MABC's electric car is wrapped in messages that explain what materials are mined to create a single car. — Photo courtesy MABC

Educating the public

The goal of Mining Month is to start a conversation—something that MABC tries to do year round as well. “Education is all about partnerships,” Cox said. “It’s having conversations with stakeholders. We’ve been working on that by talking to groups like Clean Energy Canada and Clean Energy BC, and some of the technology companies also working in this space about the partnership opportunities that are there because our economy is so intertwined.”

Mining Month discussions will show the province the connections between industries when companies are clear on where their materials are coming from. As companies begin to engage with each other, their communities and leaders, excitement grows. The discussion allows not only the mining companies, but entire communities to highlight what they are doing to promote a successful future. “I think this is a good way for communities to engage internally, but also with the rest of the province,” Cox said.

Get involved with Mining Month

Many members of the MABC and MSABC are already involved in Mining Month events. For example, Teck Resources is offering mine tours in the Elk Valley. Copper Mountain Mining Corporation is organizing a large community event for the town of Princeton. There is still time for others to get involved in Mining Month. “Our goal in hosting mining month is to have any community who wants to participate has the opportunity,” Cox said. Attend an event near you to join the conversation about the future of mining in British Columbia.

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