Three-quarter of British Columbians would like to the province become a world leader in supplying critical minerals that are vital to clean technologies and fighting climate change, according to a survey done for the Mining Association of British Columbia (MABC) by Spark*Insights and Abacus Data.
The survey found that over 80% of B.C. residents support the province’s mining sector. Eight-eight per cent of residents view economic opportunities from mining as excellent, very good, or good. Importantly, 73% say the environmental standards that apply to mining in B.C. are excellent, very good, or good.
When asked whether they want to see more or less mining investment and jobs in B.C., 72% said they support the provincial government taking steps to encourage more investment and jobs in the B.C. mining sector.
"There is strong public support and recognition of the importance of critical minerals in every region of our province, across generations, and across the political spectrum," said Michael Goehring, president and CEO of MABC. "The need for critical minerals has changed the conversation on mining. Today, British Columbians see responsible mining as a way to grow our economy and fight climate change.”
The survey also explored views on permitting and authorizations processes for new mines. When informed it can take up to 15 years to obtain government approvals to build a new mine, 64% of respondents felt it should be possible to reduce regulatory complexity and permitting time limits without compromising environmental protection or health.
"The most revealing finding in our data is the public enthusiasm for mining and the significant support in British Columbia for supplying the critical minerals the world needs," said Bruce Anderson, chief strategy officer and partner of Spark*Insights.
The survey was conducted province-wide with 1,000 B.C. residents aged 18 and over between Jan. 12 and 19, 2023. The margin of error is ±3.1%, 19 times out of twenty.
Many of the minerals on Canada's critical minerals list are found or produced in B.C., including aluminum, antimony, bismuth, cadmium, chromium, cobalt, copper, germanium, indium, lead, molybdenum, niobium, silver, tantalum, tungsten, and zinc. The province is also home to rare earth minerals, and two world-class nickel deposits. All are vital to the environmental, economic, and national security goals of Canada and its allies.
Learn more about MABC’s role at www.Mining.bc.ca.