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Kootenay East MLA glad to see province embracing new mining tech

Kootenay East MLA Tom Shypitka is praising B.C.’s move to embrace a new mining technology that allows resource extraction from low-grade ore.

Shypitka said his party, BC United, helped lay the groundwork for this investment

“B.C. is kind of known as a technology hub in Canada, I think we have somewhere around 20 to 25 per cent of the new technology innovation coming out of British Columbia,” said Shypitka. “That was primarily set up in 2007, when the BC United Party came up with the Innovative Clean Energy (ICE) fund.”

Shypitka, who is also BC United’s Critic on Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation, said he has been a long-time advocate for environmentally conscious mining.

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“We need to embrace mining in this province if we want to get to a low-emission society, and it’s these innovations that are going to do it,” said Shypitka. “This ICE fund has been the catalyst to make this possible. I’m happy to see it and I’m always encouraged to see more sustainability in mining.”

This comes as the B.C. government announced an $850,000 investment into pH7 Technologies for its proprietary tech.

The process uses advanced chemistry to extract resources, such as copper and tin, from low-grade or difficult materials in a cost-effective way.

“Previously it was really tough to get these minerals processed properly within a sustainable budget, but with this new technology, we’re able to process these metals and minerals for our everyday use,” said Shypitka.

B.C. officials said this method is also more environmentally friendly than mining or other recycling methods.

The province has backed the company to process 5,000 kilograms of raw materials per day into 2,500 kilograms of extracted metals per year.

Shypitka said he’s hopeful to see more investment in B.C.’s mining and tech sectors in the future.

“Fishing, farming, forestry and mining have been the four main industries that have supported this province for 150 years, but technology is now one of those pillars,” said Shypitka. “We need to keep investing and reinvesting in technologies to make us better than we have ever been before.”

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