Northern Development Supports the Northwest Power Line Study

March 29, 2008

The Mining Association together with the Northern Development Initiative Trust today confirmed that a study has been commissioned looking into the economic viability of the Northwest Power Line along Highway 37 in north western British Columbia.

“There is a strong and growing consensus among community leaders in the Northwest about the long term need and benefit of a power line along highway 37,” said Mining Association of British Columbia Chairman Pierre Lebel.  “Documenting the presence of existing and potential development opportunities in this corridor, many of which are among the best in British Columbia, will help to demonstrate the wisdom of building this line to a wider audience".

The Northern Development Initiative Trust, the Mining Association of British Columbia, the Association of Mineral Exploration of British Columbia and a number of mining companies,
First Nations Companies, suppliers, independent power producers and local business are jointly contributing to a fund that will support the study and any related activities. The budget for the project is currently estimated at approximately $300,000.

“Our mandate is to encourage the economic development of the North and our member communities agree that the construction of the power line would be of huge economic benefit to our region.  That is why the Trust, representing over 50 communities and regional districts, has agreed to support this project,” added Janine North, Chief Executive Officer of the Northern Development Initiative Trust.

Macquarie Bank, an international bank with considerable expertise in major capital infrastructure project financing, has been retained to conduct the study.  While no deadlines have been set, it is anticipated the study will be completed in April or May 2008.

The study is expected to examine the range of potential power consumers and generators along the proposed power line corridor so as to determine the threshold of activity that might make a power line viable.   

For further information, please contact:

Byng Giraud, MScEcon, MBA
Vice President, Policy & Communications
Mining Association of British Columbia
Telephone:  (604)681-4321 ext 110
Mobile:  (778) 233-6449

Janine North
Chief Executive Officer
Northern Development Initiative Trust
Telephone:  (250) 561-2525