Energy and Minerals

Hydro-electric facilities on the Bridge and Seton rivers are the third largest in the province. Expansion opportunities are limited. There is, however, good potential for smaller hydro-electric developments. Other energy resources such as solar, wind, co-generation, oil, gas, coalbed methane and geothermal are untested or untapped.

Lillooet has a long history of mining and some of the best mineral potential in the province. Future mines could produce metals (gold, silver, copper, tungsten), industrial minerals (limestone, dimension stone, talc), aggregates (sand, gravel, crushed rock) and gems (jade, agate).

Three mining/tourism areas will be designated in the Southern Chilcotin Range (see map) to ensure sustainable management of these industries in key locations. A management plan, guided by the intent of the 2004 Mining/Tourism Memorandum of Understanding, will be prepared for these areas. To optimize resource development, these areas will be closed to industrial logging.


  • Uncertainty of access for mineral and energy resource development.
  • Land use planning processes focused on surface values fail to adequately account for mineral exploration and development opportunities.
  • Land use designations and constraints favouring other resource values can reduce opportunity for, and increase the cost of, mining development and add to investor uncertainty.
  • Shortage of designated placer areas.
  • Limited public understanding of exploration and development activities, project review processes, and ways of protecting the environment and resolving disputes.


  • Prosperous mineral and energy sectors with full access to Crown land for exploration and development.

Objectives Management Direction/Strategies Measures of Success/Targets Intent
Energy Objectives
1. Provide access to Crown land outside protected areas for exploration and development of energy resources 1.1 Work toward a "single window" of approval for all exploration and development
2. Encourage development ofregional energy resources to provide local employment and investment opportunities 2.1 Allow for future energy resource expansion to facilitate business decisions to locate in the plan area. Access to 100% of the energy opportunity area for exploration and development Improved energy resource inventories Improved public awareness of energy resource development and management
2.2 Allow for the development of new or expanded infrastructure (e.g., pipelines; electric transmission lines)
2.3 Consider opportunities for small-scale hydro generation as a high priority use of available water when it can be shown that the potential negative consequences of such a development can be mitigated
2.4 Work cooperatively among agencies, First Nations and local government to support the development of co-generation facilities where they are economically feasible and environmentally sustainable
2.5 Consider opportunities for alternative energy generation, including wind and solar power, and support developments where they are economically feasible and environmentally sustainable
2.6 Encourage industry and government geological surveys and research on subsurface energy resources
3. Allow for maintenance of existing energy infrastructure 3.1 Allow access to all existing pipeline and electric transmission line rights of way for regular maintenance and upgrades Access allowed. Pipelines and transmission lines maintained and improved
4. Reduce adverse impacts of energy development on fish and fish habitat, wildlife, visual resources, First Nations, tourism and recreation users, and local residents 4.1 Ensure that energy developers have access to current fish and fish habitat mapping Non-energy resources and uses considered and addressed in standard project review and approval processes
4.2 Use appropriate fish habitat guidelines and best management practices during infrastructure planning and development
4.3 Ensure that approvals for the expansion or creation of new energy corridors consider environmental values (particularly fish and wildlife)
4.4 Ensure that energy project review and approval processes provide opportunities for input from First Nations, local government, the public, and other interested persons or groups
4.5 Encourage compatible uses of energy infrastructure (e.g., snowmobile trails on pipeline routes or transmission lines) to provide new tourism or recreation opportunities
4.6 New energy developments should use existing utility corridors and infrastructure as much as practicable to prevent further impacts to the landscape
Mineral Objectives
1. Foster and support an economically vibrant and environmentally responsible mineral sector Increased exploration expenditures reflecting improved investor confidence. Improved mineral resource inventories
2. Encourage exploration, development, production and processing of geological resources on all available mineral lands 2.1 Periodically review mineral lands to ensure that as much of the plan area as possible is available for mineral activities Increased exploration expenditures reflecting improved investor confidence
2.2 Disseminate information on mineral land availability to investors, prospectors, the mineral industry and other interested parties
2.3 In materials developed to promote the province’s mineral resources, identify mineral development opportunities in the Lillooet area
3. Ensure appropriate access for exploration, development, production and processing of geological resources throughout the plan area 3.1 Ensure that new road accesses required for exploration activities are built according to mining-specific legislation and regulation Access to 100% of the mineral zone To facilitate mechanized or motorized access in support of mineral activities It is recognized that regulatory agencies may set conditions on permits to address non-mining values. For example, Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection may set conditions on the use of motorized vehicles in areas with Wildlife Act restrictions, in order to address the environmental values for which the restrictions were established It is also recognized that parts of some wildlife habitat areas (WHAs) may preclude access construction in order to conserve habitat or avoid mortality
3.2 In areas with Section 58 Forest and Range Practices Act (FRPA) motor vehicle restrictions, continue to allow access for mineral exploration and development activities
3.3 Ensure that access for mineral exploration and development continues to be allowed in wildlife management areas (WMAs), wildlife habitat areas (WHAs), and areas subject to Wildlife Act motor vehicle restrictions
3.4 In areas with Wildlife Act motor vehicle restrictions (e.g., Red and French Mountains, China Head, Nine Mile Ridge, Hogback, Spruce Lake), encourage WLAP to promptly issue vehicle permits to persons conducting mineral exploration (e.g., mineral tenure holders, free miners and their agents or contractors)
3.5 As much as practicable, ensure that non-status roads now used to access mineral properties remain open for future exploration use
3.6 In order to conserve environmental values, incorporate into Mines Act permits appropriate measures to limit non-mining use of exploration access roads. Appropriate measures could include using signs, blocking roads, installing gates, berms or ditches, and ensuring prompt reclamation or deactivation (as per Mineral Exploration Code)
4. Integrate mineral and non-mineral resources and uses in planning and implementing mineral exploration, development and mining 4.1 Use standard project review and approval processes, including applicable legislation, regulations and policies, to address nonmining resource values and uses identified in this plan Non-mineral resources and uses considered and addressed in standard project review and approval processes
5. Maintain opportunities for placer mining in the plan area 5.1 Maintain existing placer claim area and placer lease area designations Placer designations continued Not intended to fetter ongoing Provincial policy development
5.2 Continue the current review and approval process for establishing new placer claim and lease areas
5.3 Continue current placer regulations for existing and new placer claim and lease areas
6. Improve public awareness of mineral resources, activities, and management 6.1 Disseminate information on mineral resources, exploration activities, project review and permitting processes, environmental protection measures, and dispute resolution mechanisms to First Nations, local governments, community organizations and the public Improved public awareness of mineral and energy resource development and management
6.2 Encourage Ministry of Energy and Mines to disseminate information on current mineral exploration and development activities via the Internet
6.3 Encourage First Nations, local governments, community organizations and the public to use available Internet-based2 mineral resource information to acquaint themselves with mineral resources and activities in areas of interest to them
6.4 Foster improved communication among mineral and non-mineral tenure holders, First Nations, resource users, and the public
6.5 Encourage holders of Crown land or resource tenures (e.g., water licences for domestic use; commercial recreation tenures; woodlot licensees) to use available internet-based mineral resource information to acquaint themselves with mineral activities in their tenure areas
6.6 Encourage surface and subsurface tenure holders to inform each other of activities that might adversely affect each other’s business
6.7 Ensure that the various agencies responsible for managing tenures make address or contact information broadly available, in order to facilitate communication
7. Develop and implement a management plan for designated mining/tourism areas (see map) Management plan for mining/tourism areas completed by 2005 Management plan should be guided by the intent of the Mining / Tourism Memorandum of Understanding Encourage mineral exploration and development in mining/tourism areas
Aggregate Objectives
1. Ensure a local supply of aggregate resources and explore opportunities for export 1.1 Develop, and if practical, implement an aggregate resource management plan for the Lillooet area Aggregate resources and development opportunities documented and appraised The plan should address the following issues:

  • resource assessment and inventory;
  • ownership and allocation (in particular, in the Gold Bridge area);
  • constraints on development;
  • aggregate supply and demand;
  • potential export opportunities; and
  • provincial, regional and municipal land use zoning (insofar as it pertains to aggregates).
1.2 In order to address acute shortages of publicly available aggregates in the Gold Bridge area, encourage major owners (e.g., Ministry of Transportation; BC Hydro) to share their reserves