Jim Letourneau's Blog

Investing, Technology, Travel, Geology, Music, Golf. I think that covers it.

Mining in Alberta - A Plea

There is considerable potential for mining other stuff besides oil sands in Alberta. However reactionary policies that benefit oil sands development left out some gory details that have had serious consequences to mineral exploration companies. Mike Dufresne takes charge and makes the case for Alberta's mineral sector. CLICK HERE to access an article that provides a good overview of mineral exploration activity in Alberta. 

Dear Mr  Hancock,

I am a resident in your riding and have been for 16 years and I have been President for the last 12 years of a 20 year multimillion dollar geological consulting firm based out of Edmonton (Head Office) with offices in Vancouver and Perth.  Unfortunately, we have seen our business progress from 50% of our work load in Alberta to less than 10% over the last decade due primarily to having to go offshore to procure work and grow the company.  Last summer I tried to arrange a meeting with you to discuss many of the issues in the non oil sands mining sector for Alberta (there is no non oil sands sector except for industrial minerals) as I would like to know your views prior to casting my vote in the upcoming election. The meeting was never able to be arranged.

Attached is an excellent and well regarded worldwide journal that has just been released that has written a complete volume devoted to Mining in Alberta.  Although their portrayal of Alberta as an excellent mining jurisdiction is well founded (for the oil sands sector) they have done a reasonable job in also portraying some of the issues facing in particular the metallic and industrial mineral sector.

The last 3 - 4 years under the jurisdiction of Ted Morton and Ron Liepert has seen the extremely rash and reactionary implementation of a poorly constructed "Land Use Framework" starting with northeast Alberta (but designed for the entire Province) without adequate consultation and certainly with little or no input from the Alberta Geological Survey and industry on the potential for metallic and industrial minerals.  The focus of the framework is sterilization of lands and in particular is focused on sterilization of lands that do not contain oil sands but may contain metallic and industrial minerals. The sterilization of lands that does not include the sterilization of any oil sands lands does not address the overall issue of cumulative effects in northeast Alberta in the oil sands area. This has also corresponded to the complete elimination of the resource sections of the Alberta Geological Survey and a "refocus" on energy and water all worthy causes but to the complete detriment of any metallic and industrial minerals sector that could be developed in the future. This framework is the proverbial final dagger in the back for Alberta's metallic and industrial mineral sector.

We have the potential to develop a small but important metallic and industrial mineral sector in our Province over time and with investment and with government support.  Although our government has preached diversification from energy for decades the message from its actions is very clear - they are not interested in having a metallic and industrial minerals sector develop.

Please read this very informative article as you have time and I await your response.


Michael Dufresne
APEX Geoscience Ltd.
(Ofifice) 780-439-5380
(Cell) 780-916-5781

Hancock was re-elected. Morton was not. Liepert did not run for re-election.