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June 27, 2008
Update from the Ministry of Energy Mines and Petroleum Resources regarding the power situation in N.W. British Columbia

VICTORIA - The Province is again inviting the private sector to partner with government and build the $400-million Northwest Transmission Line (NTL) that will bring economic development to British Columbia's northwest, said Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources Richard Neufeld.

"The Province remains as committed as we were last year to building this transmission line," said Neufeld. "We have $250 million on the table and are challenging industry to join us, put a plan and financing forward to make the Northwest Transmission Line a reality."

NTL was put on hold when construction of the Galore Creek mine was suspended by NovaGold and Teck Cominco last November.

Last year, the Province, BC Hydro and BC Transmission Corporation announced the project, which would have extended the electricity grid and help support economic diversification in the area. The Galore Creek Partnership was formed with NovaGold and Teck Cominco, which would have seen funding going to help construct the line. The government has talked to mining companies across the province about sharing in the cost of constructing NTL.

The Northwest Power Line Coalition including representation from industry, First Nations and communities, the Mining Association of B.C. and the Association of Mineral Exploration of B.C. has released the preliminary results of their study of the potential benefits of NTL. The study found that NTL could attract $3.5 billion in investment and bring eight mining projects to the northwest. This would include 2,000 jobs and more than $300 million in economic activity.

Mining in B.C. is a $6.9-billion industry, according to a recent industry report. B.C.'s minerals economy has generated more than 28,000 family- supporting jobs in over 50 communities with salaries averaging $101,900 including benefits.

  





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