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North Island gold and copper mine could be boon to BC, study shows

The North Island is sitting on a literal gold mine of opportunity, says a recent report from the Mining Association of BC.

An economic impact study prepared for the association looked at 16 mining projects in development around the province, including the NorthIsle Gold and Copper Mine proposed near Port Hardy.

The study says the projects would bring $36 billion in investment and $11 billion in tax revenue. It adds that each mine would contribute $25 billion to the provincial GDP over a 24-year lifespan.

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Association president Michael Goehring said in a trade journal this weekend that the federal government permitting process takes too long, and the BC government also needs to step up to keep BC mining competitive with other provinces.

The study shows BC’s mining industry employs more than 35,000 people and generates $18 billion in economic activity annually.

NorthIsle’s project near Port Hardy is near the now-closed BHP Island Copper Mine south of Port Hardy but is mainly focused on gold and copper deposits north and east of Holberg, and west of Coal Harbour. The company says it is committed to working with local Indigenous nations to develop the project, and adds having the former mining infrastructure in place as well as support from Port Hardy will be big advantages if development is approved.

The BC Mining Association’s study says economic reconciliation with First Nations is crucial to developing the mining sector, along with updating the provincial electrical grid, and competitive carbon tax pricing.

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