The mining industry is the largest customer for Canada’s transportation sector

Photo courtesy of Imperial Metals Corp.

Frequently Asked Questions

Each year, the Minerals and Metals Sector (MMS) of Natural Resources Canada undertakes a comprehensive review of developments in the mineral industry and publishes the results as the Canadian Minerals Yearbook. This publication forms a continuing historical record from year to year.

To make this information more accessible and timely, the Canadian Minerals Yearbook is made available on the Natural Resouces Canad website:  Canadian Minerals Yearbook

If you are looking for historical photos of mining in BC we recommend you try the following sources:

Vancouver Public Library, Special Collections
350 West Georgia St., Vancouver B.C. V6B 6B1
Telephone: (604) 331-3603
Historical Photographs Telephone: (604) 331-3776
FAX: (604) 331-3777

Find answers to a variety of questions relating to Free Miners Certificate by visiting  Mineral Titles FAQ section of the BC Ministry of Energy and Mines website.

To view annual BC metal production and value statistics visit: BC Ministry of Energy and Mines website. Information covers Gold, Silver, Copper, Lead, Zinc and Molybdenum. 

To find coal production statistics for BC visit  BC Ministry of Energy and  Mines website.


Annual mineral production statistics in Canada by province and territory can be found under the Minerals and Metals Sector area of the Natural Resources Canada website. Monthly statistics are located here.

The Mining Association of British Columbia (MABC), founded in 1901, speaks on behalf of mineral and coal producers and advanced development companies involved in the exploration, development and smelting of minerals in British Columbia, Canada.

The Association for Mineral Exploration in British Columbia (AME BC),  founded in 1912, promotes a healthy environment and business climate for the mineral exploration industry. It is regarded as the predominant voice of mineral exploration and related issues in British Columbia.

The products of the mining industry  help build the highways,electrical and communications networks,housing, automobiles, consumer electronics and other products and infrastructure essential to modern life.

Some samples of consumer application that rely on mining products:

  • Batteries—nickel, cadmium, lithium, cobalt
  • Circuitry—gold, copper, aluminum, steel, lithium, titanium, silver, cobalt, tin, lead, zinc
  • Computer/TV screens—silicon, boron, lead,barium, strontium, phosphorus, indium
  • Cosmetics and jewellery—iron oxide, kaolin, zinc, titanium, dioxide, gold, diamonds, copper
  • Electricity—coal, uranium
  • Eyeglasses—limestone, feldspar, soda ash
  • Leather clothing—borax, chromium, zirconium, aluminum, titanium oxide
  • Musical instruments—copper, silver copper, silver, steel, nickel, brass, cobalt, copper, iron, aluminum
  • Sports equipment—graphite, aluminum, titanium, calcium carbonate, sulphur
  • Sun protection—zinc oxide
  • Steel—nickel, iron ore, zinc for rustproofing
  • Vehicles and tires—steel, copper, zinc, barium, graphite, sulphur, bromine, iodine
  • Wind, solar, hybrids—nickel, aluminum, lithium, gallium, indium, germanium

Information courtesy of Mining Association of Canada, Facts + Figures 2011

To locate contact information for federal Ministers of Parliament, Deputy Ministers, Senators and MP offices visit Government of Canada Electronic Directory Services online.

To find contact information for a BC government official or BC government organizations, visit the online  BC Government Directory.

To find information on ministries or departments responsible for natural resources and mining in each province and territory in Canada visit Natural Resources Canada Directory web page:


The Major Projects Management Office (MPMO) is a Government of Canada organiztion whose role is to provide overarching project management and accountability for major resource projects in the federal regulatory review process, and to facilitate improvements to the regulatory system for major resource projects.

The Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) is a neutral agency that manages the review of proposed major projects in British Columbia, as required by the Environmental Assessment Act.

To find information related to mineral titles in BC visit Mineral Titles Online. Mineral Titles Online (MTO) is an Internet-based mineral titles administration system that allows mineral exploration industry to acquire and maintain a mineral titles by selecting the area on a seamless digital GIS map of British Columbia and pay the associated fees electronically.

The Mineral Titles office administers the laws and manages the recording system pertaining to the acquisition and maintenance of mineral, placer and coal rights in the province. The Ministry maintains records and maps which indicate areas available for location and acquisition of title as well as the location and status of mineral and coal titles acquired under the Mineral Tenure Act and Coal Act.

The BC Ministry of Energy and Mines has created a number of recreational panning reserves around the Province that are open to the general public to use for recreational gold panning.

To obtain a list of maps for gold panning areas in the province visit:  Recreational Panning Reserves page on the BC Ministry of Energy and Mines website.

In British Columbia a prospector's license is referred to as a Free Miner's Certificate.

If this is the first-time you have applied for a Free Miner Certificate (FMC), you can go to any Mineral Titles Branch office, Provincial Service BC (Government Agent) office or FrontCounter BC office and fill out an application form for an individual or company FMC. Staff at these offices will enter the required information into the Mineral Titles Online (MTO) registry and you will be issued an FMC and client number.

Alternatively, you can print a copy of the individual or corporate FMC forms and mail in your completed application.  Send your form along with a cheque in the amount of $25.00 for an individual or $500.00 for a company, made payable to the Minister of Finance, to:
Mineral Titles Branch
300-865 Hornby Street
Vancouver, B.C.
V6Z 2G3

To understand the basics of prospecting read, Introduction to Prospecting by E.L. Faulkner, Paper 1986-4. 

This resource can be accessed in pdf format on the BC Ministry of Energy and Mines website.