British Columbia study finds potential for $36 billion in critical minerals


January 10, 2024

Sixteen proposed critical mineral mines, representing $36 billion in near-term investment, 300,000 person-years of employment and $11 billion in tax revenues, are at a key juncture, based on findings of a new independent economic impact analysis conducted for the Mining Association of British Columbia (MABC).

“The realization of benefits from these critical mineral projects is dependent on BC having competitive fiscal and regulatory policies that will attract the investment necessary to grow and sustain the sector. The provincial government’s forthcoming critical minerals strategy is fundamental to these efforts,” said Michael Goehring, president and chief executive officer of MABC.

The study, which examined 14 potential critical mineral mines and two mine extensions, found the long-term economic impact of operating these mines over several decades could be nearly $800 billion.

Critical minerals are essential building blocks for clean technologies like solar panels, batteries and electric vehicles. According to the International Energy Agency, global demand for critical minerals is expected to increase six-fold by 2040.

“This is a generational opportunity which must be seized and could position BC as a leading global supplier of responsibly-produced critical minerals. We want to move forward with the Governments of Canada and British Columbia, First Nations, local governments, and labor, to unlock critical mineral developments for the benefit of all British Columbians,” said Goehring.

“The proposed critical mineral projects also create genuine opportunities for First Nations partnerships to advance economic reconciliation, prosperity, and self determination,” said Goehring.
The study also assessed the economic benefits resulting from advancing five proposed precious metal mines, including gold. The long-term combined impact of the proposed precious metals mines over their lifespan exceeds $29.5 billion, creating over 96,000 person-years of employment and generating $5.3 billion in tax revenue.

“With the right government policy, these critical and precious mineral projects would further advance the mining and smelting sector’s foundational role in BC’s economy which includes well-paid family-supporting jobs and opportunities for service and supply businesses in both rural and urban communities,” said Goehring.

About MABC

MABC is the voice of British Columbia’s steelmaking coal, metal, and mineral producers, smelters, and advanced development companies. Our industry benefits all British Columbians, supporting more than 35,000 jobs and over 3,700 small, medium and First Nations businesses in every corner of the province through an annual spend of $3 billion. Our members’ products have among the lowest carbon footprints globally and are helping the world transition to a cleaner, low-carbon future; safely and responsibly.

About the Study

MABC engaged Mansfield Consulting Inc. to assess the potential economic impact of proposed new critical mineral mines and extensions to existing critical mineral mines in BC. The study also evaluated the potential economic impact of proposed new precious metals mines in the province.

Mansfield Consulting Inc. provides specialized consulting services on economic and statistical issues. Mansfield Consulting Inc.’s Principal is Ed Mansfield Ph.D. who has more than 30 years of experience providing consulting services to public and private companies, professional associations, industry organizations, and government agencies.

To view the media backgrounder and economic impact study, click here.


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