PRINCE GEORGE - Premier Christy Clark officially announced that a large mine expansion permit at the Huckleberry Mine near Smithers has moved the province one step closer to successfully achieving its mining industry goals under the BC Jobs Plan.
"The expansion of this mine brings jobs and economic benefits, not only to Central B.C. but to the whole province," said Premier Clark. "We will continue to work to provide safe, well paying jobs that support families and build strong communities."
The Huckleberry mine expansion will commence in 2012 and will ensure stable jobs for the current 230 employees for another nine years and provide approximately 70 additional jobs. Over the mine life, Huckleberry Mines Ltd. will spend about $254.4 million on wages and benefits, (excluding contractors), $119 million on new acquisitions and $82 million on dam construction.
As part of the BC Jobs Plan, announced in 2011 by the Premier, the Province expects to see eight new mines and another nine mining expansions operational in British Columbia by 2015.
"We are extremely excited to be proceeding with the Main Zone expansion of the Huckleberry mine," said Minoru Yamaguchi, president and CEO of Huckleberry Mines Ltd. "We know Huckleberry's operations are a critical element to the local economy and we are pleased that will continue for at least another nine years. We also believe this project is a great example of co-operation between British Columbia and Japanese mining companies, our First Nation partners and the government of B.C."
"The Cheslatta Carrier Nation is proud to be involved in the Huckleberry Mine expansion," said Chief Richard Peters. "It is a perfect example of First Nations and Industry working together. Both parties, with a little hard work, saw positive opportunities to work together. We look forward to a long and beneficial relationship."
The mine received approval of its Mines Act Permit from the Province on Dec. 30, 2011. As a result, production from 2011 to 2021 is estimated to be 424 million pounds of copper, with an average of 43.2 million pounds per year until 2019. Production in 2020 and 2021 will be reduced as stockpiles are milled.
Huckleberry Mines is an open pit copper/molybdenum mine located approximately 130 km south of Smithers and 86 km southwest of Houston, in west central British Columbia. The mine started commercial production in October 1997. An exploration program with the objective of extending the mine life has been ongoing and this expansion permit will see this plan come to fruition.
Huckleberry Mines has an excellent safety record and was awarded the Jake McDonald B.C. Reclamation Award in 2000, Premier's Award - Reclamation and Prospecting Program 2010 and 2010 Collaborative Research Award.
- Today, B.C.'s mines are profitable, tax revenues are rising and direct mining jobs are increasing.
- To ensure future prosperity, the Province is stepping up its permitting approval processes to ensure industry is in a position to achieve this growth, while continuing to maintain high health, safety and environmental standards.
- As well, the Province helps to ensure a profitable mining sector through the provision of variety of industry incentives:
- Mining Exploration Tax Credit provides a 20 per cent refundable tax credit for companies.
- Mining Flow Through Share Tax Credit provides a non-refundable 20 per cent tax credit. This incentive makes the cost of eligible exploration the second-lowest in the country.
- New Mine Allowance provides the equivalent of a 133.3 per cent deduction of capital costs for mines that commence or expand production before Jan. 1, 2016.
Office of the Premier
Ministry of Energy and Mines