B.C.’s 14 operating mines could shrink to just five in 20 years, report warns – PrinceGeorgeMatters.com

B.C. has a serious carbon leakage problem that could see the mining industry here shrink over the next 20 years, emissions from mining rise in other countries, a new report by the Mining Association of (MABC) warns.

It warns that B.C.’s 14 operating mines could shrink to just five by 2040.

When carbon taxes were first introduced in B.C. by the Liberal government, they were generally supported by B.C.’s mining industry.

But the industry expected other competing jurisdictions would likewise implement carbon pricing. Most didn’t. Moreover, the NDP ended carbon tax neutrality, in which increases in carbon taxes are offset with decreases in other taxes.

“When BC launched the carbon tax in 2008, it was assumed many other nations subnational jurisdictions would follow with their own,” the report states. “Most have not. Those that did have protected their trade exposed firms.

“In light of this, BC’s mines smelters face a significant cost disadvantage because firms they compete with in other jurisdictions have no carbon pricing or significantly lower carbon pricing. Anecdotal evidence suggests the carbon tax is already contributing to a shift in capital investment carbon leakage.”

It notes that the U.S., Australia, Russia the Middle East pay no price for carbon, miners in Chile only pay carbon tax on their electricity generation, at $5 per tonne of CO2. B.C.’s carbon tax is currently $40 per tonne, scheduled to rise to $45 per tonne in 2021.

There are currently 14 operating mines in B.C. two smelters that