VANCOUVER, BC – The B.C. government announced yesterday that it has given Geoscience BC $10 million in new funding over the next two years to support mineral, water and energy earth science research in the province.
Premier Christy Clark made the funding announcement at the Association of Mineral Exploration Annual Round-up Conference in Vancouver on Monday. Geoscience BC has been working closely with the provincial government over the last four years to secure long-term predictable funding that provides the organization with financial stability and certainty.
Since it was established in 2005, Geoscience BC has leveraged public funding from the B.C. government by attracting $22 million in private funding for applied earth science projects. To date, Geoscience BC’s geophysical survey work has covered more than 228,000 square kilometres, an area equivalent to three times the size of Ireland. The organization has managed 103 minerals projects, 50 oil and gas projects, and eight geothermal projects. In the last decade, B.C.’s share of mineral exploration investment has increased 350 per cent from six per cent in 2005 to 21 per cent in 2015.
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“Geoscience BC has provided tremendous value to First Nations, local communities, governments and the resource sector over the past 11 years by providing independent publicly available earth science that leads to more informed and responsible resource management decisions,” said Mike Cathro, Geoscience BC Chair. “Today’s funding announcement enables Geoscience BC to continue to unlock British Columbia’s hidden resource potential that helps attract investment to the province, stimulating economic activity and creating well-paying jobs.”
“The scope of Geoscience BC’s work over the years from identifying new mineral deposits to improving our understanding of northeast BC’s shallow groundwater aquifers to mapping the province’s geothermal hotspots have provided new insights into the economic, environmental and social possibilities of responsible resource development,” said Robin Archdekin, President and CEO of Geoscience BC. “We appreciate the provincial government’s confidence in Geoscience BC and are looking forward to continuing to provide important earth science information that advances our knowledge of B.C.’s resource potential for the benefit of all British Columbians.”
Among the projects Geoscience BC plans to launch in this year is a joint initiative with a consortium of partners to develop an instrument that will cost-effectively measure greenhouse gas emissions in real time through the use of drones and satellite technology. This initiative will assist the resource sector’s remediation efforts and ultimately help the Province to reach its greenhouse gas reduction targets.
This year, Geoscience BC will also test the viability of an innovative water-based technology to clean cola samples as part of a quality evaluation process that will reduce costs and improve workplace safety.