When evaluating the mining industry one must dig a little deeper than the numbers of people employed and royalties paid to government. For example, Giant Mine in Yellowknife cost the Canadian public more than $900 million to clean up and Britannia Mine near Squamish cost B.C. taxpayers more than $50 million.
Not factored into these costs is the almost priceless value of the water, air, soil, plants, trees and wildlife that have been destroyed and compromised not to mention the revenues not realized from the eco-tourism that has been lost. Connect the dots and you need to include the medical costs of all those affected by the toxicity of such extraction operations as well.
It’s estimated that there are between 2,000 and 4,000 contaminated sites around B.C. – mainly old mines and the government can only address 10 sites each year.
Apparently, little has been learned because the B.C. Liberals have just given a five-year extension to Prosperity Mines’ plan to desecrate Fish Lake and the environment around it.