Members of Cache Creek’s council met Tuesday with Energy and Mines Minister Bill Bennett to push for change in mining royalty taxes to promote development of a metals refinery in the Interior.
The meeting came during this week’s annual Union of B.C. Municipalities general meeting, attended by local politicians from the city and regional district.
“I encouraged him as a government representative to facilitate a meeting of minds,” Mayor John Ranta said.
Ranta has been pushing for Teck Resources Ltd. to bring its refining technology to the Interior in order to manufacture pure copper, for example, rather than sending concentrate overseas to Japan.
To encourage investment, Ranta is asking the province to consider lowering mining royalties for metals that are processed in B.C.
B.C. copper mines now process ore into copper concentrate. That material is sent overseas for smelting, considered a more polluting process than Teck’s made-in-B.C. refining technology now in use in Brazil.
Ranta said he believes there is a role for government to bring producers together on discussion of lowering royalties as an incentive to co-operate on a refinery.