The mining industry has potential for growth in the South Cariboo, according to Ministry of Forests, Lands & Natural Resource Operations Thompson-Okanagan-Cariboo regional geologist James Britton.
He made the statement when he addressed more than 60 people from the local business community at a mining information session.
The Business Development Bank of Canada and the South Cariboo Chamber of Commerce jointly hosted the session in the Red Rock Grill conference room Oct. 10.
Britton talked about the various exploration projects currently active in the area and told the audience members how they could profit from it.
He described the Cariboo as a busy area of mineral exploration with good potential. Britton noted there are more than 100 active properties in the Thompson-Okanagan-Cariboo Region and 25 are considered to be major.
“Many are in the Cariboo. We live in a treasure box.”
The South Cariboo sits in the Quesnel Trough, which he described as the deposit factory for the region. He noted there is a lot of exploration going on in the area between 100 Mile House and Williams Lake.
The successful Gibraltar Mine near Williams Lake is an example of the region’s potential, he added.
Owned by Taseko Mines, it’s the second largest open pit copper mine in Canada and the largest employer in the Cariboo region.
One of Taseko’s big hopes for the future is their proposed New Prosperity copper-gold proposed, northwest of 100 Mile House. The company’s proposal is currently under federal review.
Even closer to home is GWR Resources’ Lac la Hache project, which covers 400 square kilometres and includes 192 mineral claims near Spout Lake.
Britton noted that while the company has located many deposits of high-grade gold and copper, it has not yet been able to find a large enough concentration to make extraction economically viable.
Spanish Mountain Gold’s project is currently in the pre-application phase of the environmental assessment and permitting process. It’s a low-grade, large tonnage gold-silver deposit is near the town of Likely, 70 kilometres northeast of Williams Lake. It’s expected to produce an average of 172,400 ounces of gold a year over its mine life of 10 years. The targeted date of production is mid-2015.