Wednesday, August 13, 2014

When you buy yourself a government, you expect results

From RossK, The Gazetteer, Mines Are Sparkle Ponies Too?....Who Knew?
But here's something that even we, the purveyors of all that is neither established nor credible, missed from Ms. Clark's October 2012 'Calgary Speech':
..."Mining is an area where we have set some pretty ambitious targets. We're planning to build 17 new and expanded mines by 2015. Mining revenues have grown by 20 per cent to $8.6 billion since we introduced our Jobs Plan last year, and we've done it with the highest standard of sustainable mining in the world.

"So I'll give you one example. Murray Edwards, who is a great Calgarian, owns 45 per cent of the Red Chris mine. It's in the northwest of British Columbia. It's one of the top mining deposits anywhere in the world. When I became Premier, I said I wanted people all around the world to know that you can do business successfully in British Columbia. You can work your way through the public policy issues, the First Nations issues and that you can make a profit if you come to our province"...
And, as far as 'issues' with things like rules and regulations?
Calgary billionaire Murray Edwards, you will recall, is the major shareholder of Imperial Metals Corporation, the underinsured and careless operator of Mount Polley. His company thoroughly enjoyed Christy Clark's invitation to come "make a profit" on the unregulated frontier.

Mining revenues may have grown substantially, but British Columbia's government revenues from mining have not. From Ministry of Finance documents:

Revenues reported by Ministry of Finance, in $2014

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  1. What the heck is sustainable mining? When you dig it up and cart it away, it will not regrow.


      Possibly this?

  2. Ms. Clark says the mine is in the northwest part of the province. I believe it is in the north east part of the province. No wonder she always seems lost.

    1. No, she's correct. Red Chris is near Iskut, BC, between Mount Edziza Provincial Park and Stikine River Provincial Park, 275 south-east of Juneau Alaska.

  3. The federal and provincial government have spent hundreds of millions of dollars to increase the profit potential of mining companies in the northwest. Damien Gillis reported in The Common Sense Canadian: Northwest Transmission Line: Environmental, financial boondoggle

    "... construction of the wildly over-budget, 344 km Northwest Transmission Line has been rife with environmental mismanagement. The line – which departs from a junction near Terrace, will carry power to a series of new mines in northwest BC, including the controversial Red Chris.

    "In what now seems a cruel irony, the project received $130 million in federal assistance from the Harper Government’s “Green Infrastructure Fund” – under the guise that a spur from the main line would enable the local First Nations community of Iskut to get off of diesel power. With the real intention of the line to power controversial mining operations in the Sacred Headwaters region, plus the pile of environmental infractions from its construction, the green label seems highly questionable."

    To make matters worse, as Tadzio Richards explained in this Common Sense Canadian story from last year, the province missed its deadline to file the plans for the Iskut spur with the federal government, meaning that, technically, it is on the hook to repay the entire $130 million, which would spell an even greater burden for BC taxpayers.

    Project cost doubles

    The project’s financial mismanagement goes even further. As of this time last year, the cost of the line had already ballooned from an estimated $404 million to $617 million. With projected completion now delayed an additional year into Spring of 2015, it is sure to cost taxpayers more than double the original sticker price.

  4. Mining true costs?

  5. Norm. you often — and fairly — point out the low returns the province gets in royalties from oil, gas and mineral extraction. If the BC Liberals are going to get "Trillion$" from LNG, for example, they need to get their royalties headed in a positive direction.

    In fairness, though, there are lots of dollars generated from spin-off businesses, property taxes and through taxation of workers involved in the resource industries that need to be considered. Families and communities are richer because of these industries… until disasters like this tailings pond breach occur.

    I don't want to see any company leave the province holding the bag for clean-up costs from their activities — but I'm struggling with the question of "Do we need royalties, if the industry: is employing citizens and buying locally; is paying corporate and property taxes; is abiding by rigorous environmental standards (and covering the costs of inspections); and has set aside sufficient funds to leave the property in a useful state when they are done?"

    In Hope, for example, Nestle Waters is a major employer. They get their resource from an abundant aquifer and pay virtually nothing for it. It's a quiet, non-polluting plant that leaves the area (and province) richer because of its existence. It is a different situation, though, as the water just keeps on coming. Minerals are a one-time resource.

    1. Why should these corporations get resources for free just because they create a few jobs?
      Hell give me some free coffee, flour, sugar etc so I can start a bakery and coffee shop. I would love that. I could make more money for me.

    2. Go back 150 years and call yourself the CPR and you'll do pretty well for yourself. You'll have to be organized and raise a lot of capital, expertise and labour to fulfill your side of the bargain, though. Resource companies deserve a fair return for their time and investment. They're not just discovering the Mother Lode when they're out hunting for some food.

      I've presented a number of caveats in my question above. I'm not proposing any outright giveaways or subsidies. And yes: I strongly campaigned against the BC Liberals.

  6. Raw logs offer a 4 job to 1 ratio in economic multiplier impact and yet BC keeps sending more logs ,duke point, etc offshore

  7. Norm, just a short note to you to say Thank You! All the time spent in crunching numbers and the endless hours of research are very much appreciated. Then you deliver it all to us in a way we can all easily understand.
    Thank You very much!


  9. Keep pounding out these numbers, Norm; they're graphic and easy to understand, and, best of all, there ain't a damn thing the BC Liberal crony club can do to refute them---outside of the ridiculous.

    Thanks to your illustrations, we can easily see through bogus assertions that creating an inviting climate for investors is urgently needed to pay for things like health care when that sector (for example) needs more and more money and, incredibly at the same time, government revenues from public resource royalties and taxes, the source from which such monies are supposed to come, are steadily falling. How is this possible?

    It ain't and, having illustrated this fact from every which-a-way like you do, the charge of particularist ranting gets hollower and hollower. That's gonna count big time. Thank you a million times!

  10. Thanks again Norm.
    Is it true that BC has the lowest corporate tax rate in all of North America?
    Even if we are close to the lowest, that explains why 'hidden taxes' and fee's have tripled under the Liberals reign of terror...

  11. curious that BC's credit rating score came from the same rating agencies that were or still are paid by the large banks to rate their junk derivatives as AAA and even rate lehman brothers as AA two days before bankruptcy. Fox guarding the hen house says we still have hens.

  12. It's all downhill to the log ship?

  13. Residential drop 1000 kWh to 10500 2012/13 per home
    Down 5 percent

  14. 11,067 to about 10,500 kWh
    14 Billion net debt.?

    Sure do.



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