A Year’s Worth of Resources in British Columbia

A Year's Worth of Resources in BC

By Visual Capitalist

How much resources are extracted from British Columbia in a year? 

  • Zinc

    By Visual Capitalist

    322,000 tonnes of zinc (2013)

  • Copper

    By Visual Capitalist

    884,000 tonnes of copper (2013)

  • Lead

    By Visual Capitalist

    88,000 tonnes of lead (2013)

  • Silver

    By Visual Capitalist

    $626 million of silver (est. 800 tonnes)

  • Met Coal

    By Visual Capitalist

    $3.1 bn of metallurgical coal (used to make steel)

  • Molybdenum

    By Visual Capitalist

    $150 million of moly (est. 6,500 tonnes)

  • Gold

    By Visual Capitalist

    $304 million of gold (est. 6.7 tonnes)

  • Wood Products

    By Visual Capitalist

    $16 bn of logs, paper, pulp, and wood products. 

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    [Follow us on social media or sign up to our daily infographic e-mails.]( Data from PwC, Stats Can, and estimates made based on avg. commodity price for year and value shipped (PwC Digging Deeper Report)

A Year’s Worth of Resources in British Columbia

Earlier this month, we created a slideshow visualizing the amount of metal and oil extracted globally with famous landmarks and cities.

We’ve received numerous requests from folks in our hometown of Vancouver, BC to show how much resources are extracted in British Columbia. As you can see in the above slideshow, we have covered gold, silver, zinc, molybdenum, copper, lead, metallurgical coal, and even wood products.

It surprises many British Columbians that one of the most valuable resources is met coal, which is not used for power generation but to produce steel. Steel is an alloy of iron and carbon, and the carbon comes from the metallurgical coal. In fact, 70% of steel worldwide is made this way.

Also surprising is that less than 1m cubed of gold is produced in BC each year. This may change soon with some of the many projects that may eventually go into production, but for now it remains quite low and rare in BC.

To us, one thing is clear: BC is a beautiful and resource-rich province. We at Visual Capitalist hope that companies learn from the tragic events of Mt. Polley this summer and are able to start building and maintaining mining projects that far exceed expectations for safety and environmental stewardship.

Special kudos to PwC for providing most of the information in their latest Digging Deeper report. (Note: some cube sizes were estimated in size based on value of commodity shipped and avg. 2013 commodity prices)


  • These resource visualization slideshows are awesome. I’d also be interested to see the amount of earth moved to produce those huge blocks of metal or the amount of forested area that the wood, paper, and pulp represent.

    • Visual Capitalist

      Thanks! That’s very likely a comparison we’ll make at some point. People would be amazed at how much earth is moved for that 0.7m cube of gold.

  • andré grenier

    Avez-vous les mêmes graphiques pour le Québec?

  • Stan

    Your lead in says and “even wood products”. All metals values combined $6,697,000,000 – value of wood products $16,000,000. Good thing we even have wood in BC!!

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