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Hannah M

on 22 January 2013

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SOCIALS 4.3 B.C. MINING INDUSTRY REPORT Hannah M. History and Development The mining and mineral exploration industry of British Columbia has a very rich history. B.C. has been one of the world's major mining regions since the mid-1800s and to this day still holds a top place. Historically, B.C.’s mineral sources have played a huge contribution to the growth and development of the province. The Hudson’s Bay Company started to produce coal on Vancouver Island in the 1840s, and the discovery of gold along the Fraser River in the 1850s started a international scramble to mine gold in B.C. The gold rush was ultimately responsible for the settlement of many parts in that region. As the population of BC grew, the infrastructure of the province improved, and miners began to explore more and more of the provinces terrain, leading them to many new mineral deposit discoveries. How the Industry Works Stake claims.
“First Nations” in area to be contacted to explain the location of claims, what you intend to do and your schedule.
Overlapping land claims must be respected and talk to all interested First Nations.
Apply for “Notice of Work” Permit under Section 10 of Mines Act.
May require “Licence to Cut” from MoF if volume of trees to be cut is more than 50 m3. If less than 50 m3 “Free Use Permit” under Mines Act may suffice.
Be aware of restrictions with in-stream work and sedimentation of streams from drilling. Sedimentation from drilling mud inflow to fish bearing streams is an offence under the Fisheries Act and the B.C. Environmental Management Act.
Standard of care for safety and environment must be followed.
First Nations contacted during or after your drilling program to provide an update.
The geologists have the chance to set up good relationships moving into development. Process

The open-pit mining process is used when the substance is located close to the surface and the site makes an open pit keeping the economic value and environment in mind. It is a giant hole dug in the ground with roads leading around and up to the top of the mine to make it possible to get machinery in and getting ore out of the mine. Open-Pit Mining

When an open-pit mine doesn't work because the gold is located much farther underground. Or if other concerns limit the mining, an underground mine is used.

Shafts are dug with tunnels branching out, leading to the load deposits. The mining process is straightforward, yet technical and a lot of hard work. Holes have to be drilled for explosives, after the explosives are set off, the debris from the blast needs to be hauled away. The days of picks, shovels and wheelbarrows have long gone and given way to explosives, muck machines and carts. Underground Mining Extracting Gold

Once the ore has been set in place, the gold will then need to be extracted from the ore.

The processing consists of taking the big pieces of ore and making them smaller, until it reaches the consistency of beach sand. After this is done a cyanide solution is added to the mix and milled further into a muddy, watery mix. What B.C. Produces Surrounding the most vast part of the Canadian Cordillera, a mountain belt rich in minerals and coal, B.C. produces and exports a very large amount of copper, gold, silver, lead, zinc, molybdenum, coal, and industrial minerals every year. Sustainable Mining? The phrase “sustainable mining” is in fact more of an oxymoron than anything that could be of reality. Mining is defined by the fact that its resource is non-renewable. However with responsible mining, the resource can be drawn out over many years. Also the surrounding environment can be left un-harmed and safe. B.C. does take some steps to try and keep the mining industry sustainable however. By using better technology, they can cause less damage and get exactly what they are looking for without causing destruction. B.C. also has an award to help support companies with good ethics and environmentally friendly practices. Environmental Impact Mining can have a very negative impact on the environment. Open-pit mines can leave open rock faces and large remains of waste rock called tailings. The acid rock drainage that can happen when rock is exposed to water or air. Sulphuric minerals form acid, When water comes in contact with it the water can become acidic and trail into rivers or streams and harm aquatic ecosystems. Mine Tailing Pond British Columbia’s mineral exploration and mining industry is worth over $8.6 billion, and is a fundamental component of the provincial economy. Competitive taxes, a sufficient supply of low-cost power and the governments dedication to the industry makes this province an ideal place to invest. Economic Value Current Issues Even today the B.C's mining industry faces problems and ridicule. Read the news article excerpt the the Vancouver Sun this week. “The Canadian Human Rights Commission has rejected a complaint filed by a Chinese miner against the United Steelworkers, over the union’s vocal campaign against temporary foreign workers at a coal mine in northeastern British Columbia.

In a letter sent to the commission last month, Huizhi Li, one of 17 workers that had already arrived to work at HD Mining’s Murray River mine, cited content from the Steelworkers’ website that he said violated human rights laws.

Specifically, Li cited allegations by the Steelworkers and other labour groups that about 200 miners the company has hired from China are working for lower wages and benefits than the Canadian norm.

The union has also filed a safety complaint under the provincial Mines Act, alleging the miners in Murray River don’t speak English well enough to understand their rights or to understand and comply with health and safety rules.

These allegations “are likely to create contempt for Chinese persons and in particular Chinese mining workers,” Li said in the letter written on HD Mining letterhead.

A spokesperson for the commission said it is unable to comment on decisions to accept or dismiss complaints, but the union said lawyers were informed last week that the complaint did not meet the threshold for a case under the Human Rights Act.

“When we stated the campaign to bring awareness to guest workers across the county, we were very careful to explain to everybody that we thought guest workers were being exploited,” said Stephen Hunt, the union’s Western Canada director.

The whole program is wrong, he said.

“You should first seek Canadians and, secondly, if you can’t then open up immigration so that when people come from other countries they come as full Canadians with full protections, which clearly these workers don’t,” Hunt said.

The International Union of Operating Engineers and the Construction and Specialized Workers Union have asked the Federal Court for a judicial review of the federal government decision to grant HD Mining permits for 201 temporary foreign workers. That review is slated to go ahead in April, and last week the company — after much legal wrangling — agreed to turn over to the unions the resumes of hundreds of job applicants turned down for those positions.

HD Mining confirmed that the complaint was not accepted by the commission.

“We do not know what, if any, further steps the worker who filed it intends to take at this time,” an official said in an email.

Seventeen workers arrived at the mine last fall, and another 60 miners were expected to arrive last month.

The company has maintained that it made significant efforts to recruit qualified Canadian workers and has met or exceeded all the requirements of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada in obtaining temporary foreign worker permits.

“HD Mining advertised for various underground mining positions paying between $25 and $40 an hour, including mining engineers, industrial electricians and underground coal miners. When combined with benefits, housing and food costs, this would amount to annual compensation in the range of $84,852 to $113,652 per worker,” the company has said in statements.

There is a lack of skilled underground coal miners in Canada, HD said, a shortage compounded by the long-wall mining method being employed at the Murray River mine, which is not currently used anywhere in Canada.

“If HD Mining could find qualified Canadian underground miners for this particular project, it would prefer to hire Canadian workers rather than temporary foreign workers. It would be more efficient and less costly to hire Canadian workers, but so far through its recruitment efforts, HD Mining has been unable to find any who are qualified for underground long-wall mining,” the company said in December.

A review of the federal temporary foreign worker program is currently underway.” Sources http://www.empr.gov.bc.ca/Mining/Pages/History.aspx



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