BC Mining Plan Provides Foundation for the Future

Vancouver, BC ? January 18, 2005 ? The BC Ministry of Energy and Mines? released the Mining Plan today in Vancouver. The Plan provides a much needed foundation to sustain the province?s position as a leading jurisdiction for mineral exploration and mining investment according to the BC & Yukon Chamber of Mines (BCYCM).

?From our initial review of the Mining Plan, it appears the government is taking the necessary steps to address the issues that our members have highlighted over the past number of years,? said Dan Jepsen, Executive Director of the Chamber. ?We are pleased that the BC Government is committed to work with our members to strengthen BC?s competitive environment and to make the province the most attractive jurisdiction for mineral exploration and mining in Canada.?

Key issues raised by BCYCM members include the importance of land use and access certainty, the need to cooperate with local communities and First Nations, protection of workers and the environment, and the need to increase confidence and investment in BC?s mineral exploration and mining sector.

The Chamber embraces the main themes outlined in the Mining Plan. ?The Chamber is looking forward to the provincial budget in February for a clear commitment by the government to implement the Mining Plan. We will specifically look for measures that improve investor confidence and a renewed investment in geoscience and infrastructure development,? said Michael Gray, President of the Chamber.

About the BCYCM:

The BC & Yukon Chamber of Mines is an association of over 2,800 members including 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.