Red Tape Reduced in BC with New Permitting Processes and Policies
The British Columbian government recently announced a few regulatory and policy changes that will reduce impediments to exploration and mining activity in the Province. In an effort to streamline its processes, the Province is switching to online applications for natural resource projects that require government authorizations. The government believes that this step will make the permitting process faster and ensure that companies know quickly whether or not their projects are approved. This online permitting process will begin this month, starting with the “Notice of Work” application.
The Ministry of Energy, Mines and Natural Gas is also introducing a new policy that will allow industry to apply for a multi-year area-based exploration permit. This new policy will eliminate the need to apply for multiple permits when working in the same exploration area.
Lastly, the Province will finalize its on-going review of existing mineral, placer and coal land reserves. To date, more than 89 per cent of the existing 2,393 reserves have been reviewed to see if more land could be made available for mineral exploration. Over 50,000 hectares of land have been made available for exploration as a result of this review. In addition, conditional reserves (which subjected mineral exploration and mining to express conditions) that encompassed 700,000 hectares of land have been removed. By freeing up more land, industry will be able to assess the potential of new mineral and coal deposits for possible future development.
The BC government indicates that these changes will be implemented over the coming months. Once completed, these updates should allow mineral exploration and mining companies to conduct business more efficiently and eliminate unnecessary regulatory hurdles.
BC government British Columbia Ministry of Energy natural gas