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16 September 2009
Vancouver – The Mining Association of British Columbia (MABC) today applauded the federal government decision to invest up to $130 million in the construction of the Northwest Powerline along Highway 37 in northwest B.C. The Mining Association of BC also expressed gratitude to Premier Gordon Campbell’s BC government for its leadership in pursuing federal government support and for its commitment to this major development.The combined investment of the B.C. and the federal governments, now totaling $380 million, illustrates their strong commitment to support infrastructure development facilitating economic development in the northwest corner of British Columbia. The construction of the powerline has the potential to create thousands of jobs, generate new sources of clean power and provide additional revenues to government to help pay for important programs and services. The Northwest Powerline also has the potential to attract more than $15 billion in investment, create 10,700 jobs and generate $300 million in annual tax revenues to governments.
“Today’s announcement brings a new powerline in northern BC one step closer to reality, which is excellent news for northern British Columbia and for BC’s mining industry” said Pierre Gratton, President and CEO of the Mining Association of B.C. “The federal government is to be congratulated for recognizing the significant opportunities this project offers northern communities and all of British Columbia.”
Delivering Green Power to Northern British Columbia (available online at http://www.highway37.com/), an up-dated study based on a 2008 report by the Mining Association of BC, outlines the major environmental benefits of the proposed power line along the Highway 37 corridor. Report findings reveal that immediate greenhouse gas emission reduction from the shutdown of current diesel generation, combined with the estimated, avoided emissions from the generation of green energy of approved and licensed run-of-river projects from Terrace to Dease Lake, is 208,000 tonnes of CO2 per year; this is the equivalent of almost 35,000 cars. Powering all potential mining projects off the power line grid instead of reliance on diesel, which is the only current alternative, would exceed 3.7 million tonnes of CO2 per year or, the equivalent of removing 629,000 cars from the road.
“MABC would also like to thank Premier Gordon Campbell for his government’s efforts to bring the federal government to the table,” added Gratton. “Premier Campbell, who re-started the environmental assessment and First Nations consultation on the proposed power line last September, has demonstrated a consistent commitment to this project and vision for Northwest BC”.
The Mining Association of British Columbia is part of the Northwest Power Line Coalition. The Coalition includes the Northern Development Initiative Trust with its forty member communities, the Association for Mineral Exploration of British Columbia, and a number of First Nations, mining companies, independent power producers and local businesses — including engineering firms and equipment suppliers — and concerned citizens. More information is available online at www.highway37.com
For more information, contact: Pierre Gratton, President & CEO, Mining Association of BC Tel: 778-828-5064
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