Mineral & Coal Exploration

Exploration carried out by prospectors and companies leads to discoveries of valuable deposits.

British Columbia has vast reserves of coal and minerals such as copper, gold, silver and molybdenum. The goal of mineral and coal exploration is to locate large, high-grade reserves with minimal disturbance to the ground and the environment. Technological advances, including GPS surveying, airborne technologies and down-hole seismic imaging, have enabled companies to locate new deposits previously beyond discovery using traditional methods.

Exploration projects result in benefits for nearby communities, particularly rural communities since so many mineral and coal deposits are found in rural areas of B.C. Exploration contributes hundreds of millions of dollars to B.C.'s economy each year and also provides thousands of direct and indirect jobs.

British Columbia Geological Survey Annual Summaries

Every year, the British Columbia Geological Survey releases a provincial summary and regional summaries on exploration and mining in B.C. These publications include information on mine development and evaluation, exploration highlights from the previous year, and planned activities for the coming year.

Exploration Finance Programs

B.C. and Canada have comprehensive tax incentive programs to encourage exploration.

  • The B.C. Mining Flow Through Share Tax Credit (BC MFTS) provides a 20 percent tax credit and is completely harmonized with the Federal Mineral Exploration Tax Credit. Click here to learn more about the BC MFTS.
  • The Mining Exploration Tax Credit (METC) is for eligible corporations, and corporations that are active members of partnerships conducting grassroots mineral exploration in B.C. Click here to learn more about the METC.

Exploration Permits (Notices of Work)

A permit under the Mines Act is required for exploration activities involving mechanical disturbance (e.g., drilling). The application is called a “Notice of Work” (NoW).

Apply for a NoW permit

Mines & Exploration Projects Map

Exploration Handbook

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