BC BUDGET MEANS MORE MINING MOMENTUM

Vancouver, BC: Budget measures introduced today build on the BC Governments solid track record of revitalizing the mining industry, said Dan Jepsen, Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer, BC and Yukon Chamber of Mines.

?The budget reflects the considerable efforts this Government has made to be fiscally prudent and foster a positive business investment climate in BC over the past four years. The budget will add further momentum to the mining resurgence taking place in BC,? said Jepsen.

Mineral exploration investment has increased 400 percent over the past four years. The BC Governments considerable efforts to welcome mineral exploration and mining back to BC have been critical to the renewed BC investor confidence.

?The 2005 Budget confirms the Governments ongoing commitment to foster a healthy, sustainable and vibrant mineral exploration and mining sector in British Columbia?, Jepsen.

?The Governments commitment of $25-million to create a new BC Center for Geoscience will support substantive new interest in BC mineral exploration and the discovery of new mines?. Increased investment in infrastructure and tax changes are fully supported by the Chamber of Mines.

?Over the past 100 years the development of our province has been deeply rooted in the development of roads and infrastructure?, said Jepsen. ?The BC Government?s $50-million commitment to develop new roads will lead to more jobs and opportunities in mining.?

?The 10-year extension of the mineral exploration tax credit will invigorate grass roots mineral exploration activity?, said Jim Gray, Chair of the Chamber?s Finance Committee. ?This long term vision is very exciting and will be warmly embraced by the mineral exploration community?.

?We were extremely pleased that the Government has recognized the hard work and dedication of its staff and has committed a 68% increase in funding from $7.8 million to $13.2 million, and this new funding will provide new resources for health and safety, geoscience and implementation of the Mining Plan,? said Jepsen.

The resurgence of mining will mean more revenues for government to pay for health care and education.

?The Governments efforts to revitalize mining have paid off. Revenues to government from mining have more than doubled since 2001. Mining?s back in BC and everyone wins,? added Jepsen.

MINING FACTS:

*RENEWED EXPLORATION – Total mining exploration investment in 2004 was over $130 million compared to just $29 million in 2001 ? the highest level since 1991.

*INCREASED REVENUES FROM MINING ? Direct provincial revenue from mining increased from $53.9 million in 2001 to an estimated $115.9 million in 2004. Provincial mineral tax revenues rose from $44.7 million in 2001 to a forecast $107 million in 2004.

*MINING JOBS ARE FAMILY- SUPPORTING JOBS ? Mining jobs average $94,500 / year including benefits.

About the BCYCM:

The BC & Yukon Chamber of Mines is an association of over 2,800 individual and corporation members individual geoscientists, prospectors, entrepreneurs, suppliers and mineral producers, who are directly or indirectly engaged in mineral exploration in British Columbia and throughout the world. Through representative action, public outreach and education, the BCYCM promotes a healthy environment and business climate for the mineral exploration industry on behalf of its members. The BCYCM is regarded as the predominant voice of mineral exploration and related issues in the province.