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Programme eyes critical minerals

9th February 2024

By: Donna Slater

Features Deputy Editor and Chief Photographer

     

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Independent Vancouver, Canada-based public geoscience organisation Geoscience British Columbia is bringing together government, industry and other partners for the first desktop phase of the Critical Minerals and Metals in British Columbia Mine Tailings and Waste Rock Facilities programme to support innovation in critical mineral exploration and development.

The new collaborative programme is to be rolled out with a province-wide study to highlight where potential concentrations of critical metals and minerals may be found in mine tailings and waste rock.

Critical minerals and metals are essential for modern technologies, such as electrification technology including electric vehicles and renewable energy plant components, which are needed to attain net-zero emission goals.

The first phase of the programme will collate and analyse existing information from current and historic mining operations to identify sites for future laboratory and fieldwork studies, looking to identify potential sources of critical metals and minerals that were not considered recoverable or valuable at the time of extraction, but which may now prove otherwise.

“Critical minerals are a key pillar of British Columbia’s competitive mining sector. Research projects like the one being conducted by Geoscience British Columbia will assist us in identifying potential new sources of these needed minerals, helping to position British Columbia as the supplier of choice to investors and steering us towards a low-carbon future,” says British Columbia Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation Minister Josie Osborne.

The first phase research funders are carbon mineralisation company Arca Climate, intermediate gold miner New Gold and Geoscience British Columbia, with programme support from Brtish Columbia Ministry of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation’s Abandoned Mines branch.

“In British Columbia, we have a unique opportunity to reimagine waste as a resource, to tap new sources of value and deliver low-carbon critical metals to global markets. We are excited to be supporting this innovative project with Geoscience British Columbia,” says Arca Climate science head and co-founder Greg Dipple.

“This Geoscience British Columbia-led innovation will encourage collaboration and progress critical mineral and metal investment and exploration in British Columbia,” says Geoscience British Columbia minerals VP Christa Pellett.

The Association for Mineral Exploration and Mining Association of British Columbia (MABC) supports the programme and Geoscience British Columbia is working with industry, academic, Indigenous and other partners, to secure further support.

“This research is important and can help position British Columbia as a leading global supplier of responsibly produced critical minerals and metals. I encourage industry partners and stakeholders to get involved in this project,” says MABC president and CEO Michael Goehring.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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