OUR VIEW: Mapping data is just one tool to use

New mining information will help Campbell River's economy, but city can do more by providing incentive

After several years of not-very-good economic news – the global recession, the closure of the Elk Falls mill, the exodus of skilled labour, etc. – it’s heartening to hear some encouraging news that can benefit Campbell River.

Last week’s announcement that Geoscience BC and the Island Coastal Economic Trust will spend a combined $930,000 for new magnetic mapping of the North Island region is good news for the city.

Using the latest technology, the mapping will concentrate on areas which show some potential for mineral and metal mining. At the very least, said Pat Bell, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation, the mapping data should lead to new prospecting and staking claims.

That, in itself, could result in tens of millions being spent in this region with Campbell River well-suited to be the base for operations; prospectors need places to stay, to eat and to buy supplies.

Providing this data is not only good for prospectors and mining firms, but it also shows good faith from the province that B.C. is receptive to new mines and investment. However, that said, it’s important to note that magnetic mapping is, and has been, taking place throughout vast swaths of Northern B.C.

The challenge for Campbell River, once the data is released, is to provide some sort of incentive to encourage exploration in this region. Other communities throughout the province are surely doing the same thing.

The new data is just one tool that can help “fix” the economy. It’s up to us now to properly use those tools to create viable and long-lasting opportunities.