by Greg Klein | September 5, 2013
A new procedure to streamline some types of exploration permitting in British Columbia has drawn praise from the Association for Mineral Exploration BC. On September 5 the organization congratulated the provincial government for the new regs, which took effect the previous Sunday.
Provided a Mines Act permit is already in place, the new process can authorize induced polarization, drill programs on operating mine sites and extensions of up to two years for proposed exploration. Companies can apply online through a new service called FrontCounter BC.
AME BC sees this as a first step to exempting other low-impact activities, such as using temporary campsites or conducting grassroots exploration work on brownfield sites.—Michael McPhie,
AME BC chairperson
In a statement from AME BC, president/CEO Gavin Dirom said, “As accessing information online has become so prevalent in the mineral exploration and development industry, there is now a golden opportunity to upgrade the MapPlace and Mineral Titles Online systems to complement the FrontCounter BC initiative.”
AME BC chairperson Michael McPhie added, “The provincial government has made good on its promise to improve the mineral exploration permitting process and exempt certain low-impact activities from requiring further Mines Act permits where one has already been granted. AME BC sees this as a first step to exempting other low-impact activities, such as using temporary campsites or conducting grassroots exploration work on brownfield sites. We look forward to working with government, first nations and stakeholders on such progressive changes.”
The procedure follows consultations last fall with “industry, first nations and the public,” stated a government news release.
Under the new process, applications require 30 days’ notice, during which time the province “will refer the information to first nations.”