VANCOUVER—British Columbia’s mining industry remains upbeat in 2017, as prices for most metals and minerals produced in the province continue to steadily recover from multi-year lows.
This is according to PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Canada, which just released its annual report on the mining industry in British Columbia.
Although most commodity prices remain below the record highs seen in 2011, the recent increases are part of an upward trend in the mining cycle, according the report.
Strong performance for the sector in 2017 has meant higher prices—leading to a 35 per cent increase in gross revenue from mining operations across the province.
Gross mining revenue from B.C. operations came in at $11.7 billion in 2017 compared to $8.7 billion in 2016.
Metallurgical coal was the biggest industry in 2017, with net revenue of $5.2 billion, and copper mining was the second largest, bringing in $1.9 billion in net revenue.
Employment in the sector was up in 2017 as well, rising to 10,196 from 9,329 in 2016.
“Confidence has returned to the B.C. mining industry. Commodity prices have increased and we haven’t seen such positivity since the recovery following the 2008-09 global financial crisis. We are cautiously optimistic that the worst is behind us and that the industry will continue to recover,” says Mark Platt, B.C. Mining Leader, PwC Canada.
The report says the industry is well positioned as a key producer and supplier in the new low-carbon economy, with B.C. producing metals and minerals used in, or that are instrumental in producing components for, everything from wind turbines to electric vehicles.