B.C. mining advocate group takes complaints to Ontario hearing

VANCOUVER -- A British Columbia mining advocate is taking its complaints about murky and restrictive legislation to a hearing in Ontario.

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The Association for Mineral Exploration British

Columbia believes the future of mining exploration and development is at risk because of a decreasing land base.

Members will make their case at the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada annual convention underway in Toronto.

A release from the B.C. group said four per cent of provincial land was closed to mining in 1977, but more than 18 per cent is now closed while a further 33 per cent is subject to tough restrictions.

The association said Canada's base metal reserves are declining as fewer discoveries are being made.

With access to mineral lands shrinking at unprecedented rates, fewer jobs and economic opportunities will be created in Canada's mineral exploration industry, it said.

A recent report by the B.C. group said mining companies are also facing increasingly complex legislation governing land access and use.

"(The B.C. association) is working with the provincial government to streamline and clarify land use regulations and plans," chairwoman Diane Nicolson said.

"We believe that it is possible to have both a strong and active mineral exploration and development industry and a sustainable, healthy environment," she said.

Gavin Dirom, president of the prospectors and developers association, said the organization echoes the B.C. group's call for a national conversation on how restrictions to mining are affecting the industry across Canada.



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