by Greg Klein | December 11, 2015
Following months of consultation, the Ontario government announced a mineral development strategy to guide the industry through the next decade. Although the December 11 announcement expressed platitudes aplenty, the province said it would create a $5-million Junior Exploration Assistance Program. More details on the fund, to be administered by the Ontario Prospectors Association, are to come in the new year.
Last week the province announced Mining Act amendments to introduce online staking. The most recent announcement also repeated Ontario’s previous commitment to a 10-year, $134-billion infrastructure program for roads, bridges and public transit.
A presentation last May from the Ontario Mining Association noted the province fell to 23rd place in the Fraser Institute’s 2014 rankings, from 14th the previous year and ninth one year earlier. “Much of the blame for the slippage is placed on the regulatory and policy confusion created within the resource industry stemming from the province’s amendments to the Mining Act, particularly in dealing with first nations issues,” the OMA stated.
The province now intends to “clarify roles and responsibilities for aboriginal consultation.”
Among other goals, Ontario also plans to promote public awareness of mining’s benefits, host a mining innovation summit in Sudbury and address mining issues regarding global warming.
OMA president Chris Hodgson welcomed the 10-year plan, saying it “recognizes the sector’s value to Ontario as well as the crucial need to have a competitive operating environment.”