B.C. energy, mining sectors show promising start
B.C.’s domestic exports grew by 12.75% in February 2014 compared to the same time last year — outpacing Ontario, New Brunswick and the prairie provinces, according to Statistics Canada figures.
The new figures show raw mining materials, which include iron, copper and nickel, and energy products, including electricity and refined petroleum, lead much of the growth.
Metal ores and non-metallic mineral export numbers were 90% higher in February this year compared to the same time in 2013. Energy product domestic exports rose 28.5% in the same period.
The province’s growth lagged behind Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and Quebec.
The B.C. Ministry of Energy and Mines cautioned the numbers are still early in the year — the numbers fluctuate depending on factors such as cargo ship availability and resource transportation schedules.
Spokesman Matt Gordon said B.C.’s mines have sustained regular growth, increasing 13% from 2012 to 2013, and 10% the year before that.
“The growth in exports of metals and non-metallic minerals is driven by increased demand in international markets such as China, Japan and Korea, as well as the expansion of the mining sector,” he said.
Three B.C. mines are due to open this year around Iskut, Tumbler Ridge and Banks Island. The ministry said the mines are a combined $750-million investment and would create hundreds of jobs.