B.C. is home to over 800 mining companies giving this sector a significant role in our economy. The two primary roles of a mining company are exploration and production, although some companies do both at once, on different projects.
The exploration side carries risks for its workforce in that they are often working in isolated areas, often exposed to the elements and wildlife. Life in a remote camp can be a challenging environment.
The production side requires skilled workers operating heavy machinery, often in difficult conditions. This side of the business is heavily unionized.
As a whole, the industry faces a number of challenges:
- Environmental concerns are higher than ever, with the court of public opinion holding almost as much sway as the Courts.
- Mining projects are costly ventures and can be difficult to fund in economic downtimes.
- First Nations consultation is necessary but can be time-consuming, tying up capital. Impact and benefit agreements with First Nations can be beneficial to a smoother approval process.
- The industry requires a highly skilled workforce, which poses challenges around training and recruitment.
Our clients include exploration companies, mining and quarrying companies, oil & gas extractors and distributors, and smelting and refining operations.
We provide a range of legal services for clients in this sector, including:
- Labour relations, including strategy and planning, collective bargaining and arbitrations;
- All aspects of employment law, human rights and accommodation;
- Workplace change management such as consolidation, restructurings, acquisitions and integration, and changes to pension and benefit plans;
- Occupational Health & Safety issues as well as policy development;
- Workers Compensation;
- Representation at the Labour Relations Board, the Human Rights Tribunal, and in all levels of court; and