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B.C. partnership to electrify mine trucks supports clean economy

September 17, 2020 8:30 am


People working at a mine in B.C.’s southern Interior will be the first to pilot a new high-powered electric trolley system for large mine-haul trucks, reducing pollution, increasing the use of clean energy for mining and creating cleaner economic opportunities for people.

“Clean industry is the way of the future, and our government is supporting opportunities for people working in B.C.’s resource sector to reduce emissions and encourage low-carbon investment,” said George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. “Through CleanBC, we’re partnering with industry to develop innovative projects like this to help shift mining in B.C. to a cleaner, more future-friendly direction.”

The Province is contributing $2 million toward the installation of an electric trolley system for mine-haul trucks at Copper Mountain Mining Corporation’s copper, gold and silver mine near Princeton through the CleanBC Industry Fund. The partnership will support upgrades to four of the company’s trucks to be compatible with an overhead trolley system that is planned to be installed on a new laneway on a steep section of the mine-haul road. This is expected to reduce local air pollutants and 55,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent (CO2e) – roughly equal to taking 20,000 cars off the roads for a year.

“Our government is working with businesses to create new opportunities through CleanBC to reduce emissions and build on our global reputation as a place for clean investment,” said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources. “Through the CleanBC Industry Fund, we’re investing in innovative projects that will support good jobs and a cleaner, better future for people in communities across B.C.”

The Copper Mountain pilot project will help prove the effectiveness of the trolley technology in British Columbia for wider application. It will replace diesel used by the haul trucks to transport mine material to a surface processing facility with clean electricity. This will significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“Our company is committed to low-carbon mining,” said Gil Clausen, president and CEO of Copper Mountain Mining Corporation. “We are pleased to be in partnership with the provincial government and CleanBC to produce high-quality minerals, while minimizing our impact on the environment. With the success of this trolley project, we plan on incorporating an electric trolley system into Copper Mountain’s life of mine plan, which we see reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 30% to 50%. By working together, we’re investing in a cleaner future that will see significant global opportunities for companies like ours that find innovative ways to lower our carbon footprint.”

CleanBC is a pathway to a more prosperous, balanced and sustainable future. It was developed in collaboration with the BC Green Party caucus and Andrew Weaver, MLA for Oak Bay-Gordon Head, and supports the commitment in the Confidence and Supply Agreement to implement climate action to meet B.C.’s emission targets.


Merran Smith, co-chair of B.C.’s Climate Solutions Council, and executive director of Clean Energy Canada – 

“Metals and minerals are, literally, what make the electric cars, solar panels and wind turbines we need to fight climate change. And the mining industry can also be part of the transition it’s helping build. It’s encouraging to see British Columbia’s mining companies joining others around the world upgrading their trucks and equipment to electric or even hydrogen versions. I look forward to seeing it continue.”

Michael Goehring, president and CEO, Mining Association of B.C. – 

“British Columbia has some of the lowest greenhouse gas emission-intensive mines and smelters in the world. We are a leading supplier of low-carbon metals and minerals that are essential for electric vehicles, renewable energy infrastructure and consumer technologies. This investment from the CleanBC Industry Fund will help lower emissions further and support employment in local communities.”

Quick Facts:

  • The Copper Mountain project is part of the CleanBC Industry Fund, which uses carbon tax revenues paid by industry to fund emission reduction projects around the province.
  • To be eligible for funding, applicants must have emissions over 10,000 tonnes of CO2e per year and be a reporting facility under the Greenhouse Gas Industrial Reporting and Control Act.
  • Successful CleanBC Industry Fund projects have been chosen based on a competitive process and an evaluation of detailed project plans, business cases and the potential to cost-effectively reduce emissions.

Learn More:

To learn more about the CleanBC Industry Fund and other approved projects, visit: www.cleanbc.gov.bc.ca/industryfund

To learn more about CleanBC, visit: www.cleanbc.gov.bc.ca

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