Province "streamlines" rules for mining exploration

Huckleberry mine near Smithers

Bill Bennett, Minister of Energy and Mines, and Steve Thomson, Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, announced that effective Sept. 1 (Sunday), the permitting process for some low-impact exploration activities has been streamlined.

The following activities are authorized on projects where a Mines Act permit already has been granted:

  • Induced polarization (charging the ground with an electrical current and measuring the response).
  • Exploration drill programs on operating mine sites.
  • Extending the timing of proposed exploration work by up to two years.

Under the new rules, companies must provide 30 days advance notice and information on each activity to a mines inspector. Also, during the 30- day notification period, the Province will refer the information to First Nations, according to the government news release.

In fall 2012, the provincial government reportedly consulted with industry, First Nations and the public on the permitting of low-impact exploration activities. These new changes are reportedly a result of these consultations. 

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