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Tyee reporter wins Asia Pacific fellowship to cover BC copper flow

British Columbia is an important source of one of the world's most important metals: copper. Several controversial new mines proposed for the north of the province are being developed to expand B.C.'s copper output. But few of us have much idea what happens to that metal when it leaves our shores -- or why it's so sought after.

Later this year, Tyee readers will get some special insight into the flow of B.C.'s copper, thanks to regular contributor Christopher Pollon and the Asia Pacific Foundation. Pollon was one of three journalists (others were from Global TV and the National Post) awarded media fellowships by the Vancouver-based foundation earlier this week to advance Canadians' understanding of the important ties linking Canada to the booming Asian economies.

Pollon will use his fellowship to follow the life cycle of copper mined in B.C., from its source as ore shipped to smelters in China, its processing there into refined metal, its manufacture into finished products that are exported back to Canada -- and then its final journey back a third time across the Pacific for recycling. His reporting will take him to Hong Kong and Shanghai in China, as well as Japan.

Pollon has previously reported on resource development in the B.C. northwest. Tyee readers can look forward to his reports on the copper trade with Asia beginning later this year.

Chris Wood is editor of The Tyee Solutions Society.

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