9 Factors Sparking the Future of Mining in British Columbia
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9 Factors Sparking the Future of Mining and Mineral Exploration in British Columbia



The following content is sponsored by BCRMA

Future of mining in British Columbia

9 Factors Sparking the Future of Mining in British Columbia

Jurisdictions are an important factor in building a successful mineral exploration project.

In Canada, British Columbia (B.C.) is building a brighter future for mining and mineral exploration.

This infographic from our sponsor B.C. Regional Mining Alliance (BCRMA) details nine factors that make the province the right jurisdiction for mining.

#1: A Strong Mining Ecosystem

B.C. has a long history of mining that has produced a wealth of global industry experts. Today, the region is bustling with exploration activity and has:

  • 326 active exploration projects
  • $660 million in 2021 exploration spending
  • Over 1.4 million meters of exploration drilling in 2021
  • 17 operating metal and coal mines

In addition, the province also offers comprehensive geological data, research from leading institutions, and over 3,700 mining supply companies.

#2: Geological Potential

B.C.’s mining ecosystem is built on its robust history and immense geological potential. In 2020, the province produced a diverse range of commodities, including gold, silver, copper, and other base and industrial metals.

Mineral2021 Production Value (billions)% of Total Value
Steelmaking coal$6.3B49.7%
Construction aggregates$0.5B3.6%
Industrial minerals$0.4B3.4%

B.C. is Canada’s only producer of molybdenum, used in metallurgy and chemical applications, in addition to being Canada’s leading producer of copper and steelmaking coal.

The province’s Golden Triangle located in the northwestern region contains some of the most important gold deposits in Canada, endowed with minerals worth more than $800 billion.

#3: Effective Regulations

B.C.’s stable, transparent, and effective policy environment makes it straightforward to turn mineral endowment into mineral production.

The province ranked as the world’s least-risky jurisdiction for mining in 2017 and 2018, with its collaborative authorization across government departments reducing timelines for mineral operators and explorers.

Furthermore, B.C. uses a standardized mine approval process for all companies—local, national, or international.

#4: Lasting Indigenous Partnerships

Supportive Indigenous communities facilitate exploration and mining efforts in B.C., and in turn, mining accounts for over two-thirds of all indigenous people employed in the extractives sector.

In 2018, 120 Indigenous-affiliated businesses exchanged $265 million worth of goods and services with B.C.’s 17 operating mines. Furthermore, B.C. was Canada’s first province to share mineral tax revenue with First Nations, with over $130 million shared with communities to date.

#5: Infrastructure for Mining

B.C. offers an infrastructure that supports and enhances exploration and mining, including:

  • A $700M high-voltage transmission line
  • Upgraded highways
  • Hydroelectric power facilities
  • Upgraded ocean port infrastructure

#6: Mining’s Impact on Local Economies

The mining industry is key to B.C.’s economy as its benefits reach all 203 local communities in the province.

In 2020, B.C.’s mining industry generated $9.5 billion in gross revenue and contributed $382 million to government revenues, employing 11,378 people.

#7: Choice Destination for Responsibly Sourced Metals and Minerals

Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) factors are becoming increasingly important for investors while selecting where to invest.

B.C. offers the opportunity to invest in a globally recognized jurisdiction where raw materials are produced in line with ESG standards due to progressive climate policies, strict environmental regulations, a skilled labor force, and adoption of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

#8: Abundance of Critical Minerals and Metals

B.C.’s mining industry is producing many of the metals needed for a cleaner future.

MetalTechnological Applications
CopperWind turbines, solar panels, electric vehicles
SilverSolar panels, electric vehicles
Zinc Wind turbines, energy storage
Nickel Electric vehicles, energy storage
MolybdenumWind turbines
Steelmaking CoalGrid infrastructure

With vast resources of critical minerals, B.C. is well-positioned to play a key role in the transition to a low-carbon economy and clean energy future.

#9: Increasing Activity and Financial Incentives

Exploration expenditure in B.C. has been rising for the last 5 years. Despite the impact of the pandemic, 2020 saw the highest level of exploration spending since 2014.

The provincial government provides incentives to actively encourage investments in exploration, mining, and innovation. These include tax credits for exploration, apprentice training, as well as investment allowances that let investors claim interest on capital invested while the mine is in production.

Mine development is also highly incentivized in B.C., with companies able to claim one-third of eligible capital expenses for the development and expansion of mines.

A Bright Future for Mining and Exploration

B.C.’s natural potential for mineral exploration, combined with jurisdictional advantages, makes it one of Canada’s prime locations for the mining industry.

With effective regulations, mineral-rich geology, and an active mining industry, B.C. offers a bright future for mining and mineral exploration.

>>>The BCRMA is a strategic partnership between indigenous groups, industry, and government representatives that aims to promote B.C.’s mining opportunities internationally.

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ESG Data: The Four Motivations Driving Usage

ESG controversies can damage a company’s value, but ESG data may be able to help manage this risk. What are other reasons for using ESG data?



ESG Data: The Four Motivations Driving Usage

Data is key to the environmental, social, and governance (ESG) revolution. Access to granular ESG data can help boost transparency for market participants. Unfortunately, 63% of U.S. and European asset managers say a lack of quantitative data inhibits their ESG implementation.

Being clear on the potential application of this data is equally important.

  • Investors and banks can use ESG data for risk assessment, to spot opportunities, and to push companies for change.
  • Companies can publish their own ESG data, quantify progress on their ESG goals, and use data to inform decisions.
  • Policymakers can use ESG data to inform regulatory frameworks and measure policy effectiveness.

This graphic from ICE, the second in a three part series on the ESG toolkit, explores four primary motivations of ESG data users.

1. Right Thing

The objective: Having a positive social or environmental impact.

For investors, this can involve screening out companies that conflict with their values and selecting companies that align with their ESG objectives.

As another example, it can involve comparing the social impact of municipal bonds. One way investors can measure social impact is through scores that quantify the potential socioeconomic need of an area, using metrics like poverty and education levels. Here are the social impact scores for three actual municipal bonds issued in Florida.

StateBond IssuerSocial Impact Score
(Higher = larger potential impact)
FloridaIssuer #176.5
FloridaIssuer #266.6
FloridaIssuer #343.2

Issuer #1’s bond is projected to have a community impact that is nearly twice as high/positive as Issuer #3’s bond.

For companies, doing the right thing can include assessing their progress on ESG goals and benchmarking themselves to peers. For example, gender and racial representation is a growing area of focus.

2. Risk

The objective: Managing ESG risks, such as climate and reputational risks.

For investors, this can involve back-testing or analysis around specific risk events before they materialize. Here are the risk profiles of two actual municipal bonds in California. The shown bonds are practically identical in many ways, except their wildlife score.

 Issuer #1Issuer #2
Current Coupon Rate5.0%5.0%
Maturity DateAug 01, 2048August 01, 2048
S&P RatingAAAA
Price to Date (Call Date)Aug 01, 2027Aug 01, 2027
Wildfire Score (Higher = more risk)3.62.7

Managing ESG risk can also involve analyzing a company’s policies and governance for weaknesses. This is important as an ESG controversy can have long-lasting effects on the valuation of a company.

In one study, companies with ESG controversies dropped more than 10% in value relative to the S&P 500. They hadn’t fully recovered a year after the incident.

3. Revenue

The objective: Targeting outperformance through ESG analysis.

Selecting companies with strong ESG data can align with long-term growth trends and may help boost performance. For heavy emitting industries, research indicates that European companies with lower emissions trade at much higher valuations. The chart below shows companies’ price-to-book ratio relative to the Stoxx 600* sector median.

Above Median Emission Intensity (Bad)
Below Median Emissions Intensity (Good)

*The Stoxx 600 Index represents large, mid and small capitalization companies across 17 countries of the European region: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

Energy companies with low emissions trade at a valuation nearly two times higher than energy companies with high emissions.

4. Regulation

The objective: Understanding and complying with relevant ESG regulation.

The International Sustainability Standards Board has announced a global reporting proposal aligned with the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). In addition, a growing number of jurisdictions will require organizational reporting that aligns with the TCFD.

  • Brazil
  • European Union
  • Hong Kong
  • Japan
  • New Zealand
  • Singapore
  • Switzerland
  • UK

Not only that, a European Union regulation known as Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR) came into effect in 2021. It seeks greater transparency in disclosures from firms marketing investment products. Even firms located outside the EU could be impacted if they serve EU customers. In total, the market cap of these non-EU companies exposed to SFDR amounts to $3.2 trillion.

Matching ESG Data with Motivation

There will be growing demand for transparent data as ESG investing flourishes. To remain competitive, investors, policymakers, and companies need access to ESG data that meets their unique objectives.

In Part 3 of the ESG Toolkit series sponsored by ICE, we’ll look at key sustainability index types.

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The Hierarchy of Zero Waste

In a world that generates 2 billion tonnes of waste every year, waste management has become a global concern. Here are some strategies to help guide zero waste policies.




The Hierarchy of Zero Waste

Many cities have set ambitious zero waste targets in the upcoming decades.

The idea is to have communities where waste generation is avoided, and products are shared, reused, or refurbished.

This graphic, sponsored by Northstar Clean Technologies, shows the main strategies and hierarchy to guide zero waste policies.

What is Zero Waste?

In a world that generates approximately 2 billion tons of waste every year, waste management has become a global concern. Thus, countries and cities are increasing efforts to reduce or even eliminate waste when possible.

The Zero Waste International Alliance defines zero waste as “the conservation of all resources  by means of responsible production, consumption, reuse, and recovery of products, packaging, and materials without burning and with no discharges to land, water, or air that threaten the environment or human health.”

Becoming a zero waste community, however, is a complex task.

Currently, Sweden recycles 99% of locally-produced waste and is considered the best country in the world when it comes to recycling and reusing waste. However, such results only came after almost 40 years of recycling and reuse policies.

In line with this, here are seven commonly accepted steps you can use to achieve zero waste:

1. Rethink, Redesign Products

The global population consumes 110 billion tons of materials each year, but only 8.6% is reused or recycled. In a zero waste society, single-use products are avoided and products are designed with sustainable practices and materials.

2. Reduce

Consumption must be planned carefully to reduce the unnecessary use of materials. Consumers must choose products that maximize the usable lifespan and opportunities for continuous reuse. Companies must minimize the quantity and toxicity of materials used.

3. Reuse

The value of products is maintained by reusing, repairing, or refurbishing for alternative uses.

4. Recycle

Products are diverted from waste streams and recirculated into use. Resilient local markets are developed, allowing the highest and best use of materials.

5. Material Recovery

Component materials like cement, metals, or asphalt are recovered from mixed waste and collected for other applications.

In the U.S. alone, around 12 million tons of asphalt shingle tear-off waste and installation scrap are generated from roof installation each year. Currently, more than 90% of this is discarded in landfills. This material can be repurposed to create new products like liquid asphalt, fiber, and aggregate.

6. Residuals Management

Waste is biologically stabilized and sent to responsibly managed landfills.

7. Unacceptable

The production of materials that are not recoverable and can negatively impact the environment must be avoided.

Reducing our Climate Impact

Reducing, recycling, and recovering materials can be a key part of a climate change strategy to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, about 42% of all greenhouse gas emissions are caused by the production and use of goods, including food, products, and packaging.

Even though 100% zero waste may sound difficult to achieve in the near future, a zero waste approach is essential to reduce our impact on the environment.

Northstar Clean Technologies aims to become the leading recovery and reprocessing company for asphalt shingles in North America.

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