With some encouraging signs of investor interest returning to BC (especially for precious metals), the number of Notice of Work exploration permit applications is beginning to increase again. For those explorers that have secured funding, in a competitive investment world, their global investors continuously appraise the efficiency and robustness of a jurisdiction’s permitting systems. AME supports the commitment made in the BC Jobs Plan to reduce the backlog of Notice of Work exploration permit applications and maintain a 60-day turnaround time. The implementation of a new online permit application and tracking system in 2013, as well as efforts taken to improve the permitting process by introducing multi-year and multi-area permitting, have also been considered positive steps.
What’s really happening
With the 2016 exploration season fast approaching, AME is working proactively with government in order to ensure that as many of our members as possible are actively exploring. AME, along with the Ministry of Energy and Mines (MEM) and other ministries wish to ensure that any impediments to work permitting are identified and dealt with as expeditiously as possible. As well, government is developing a refined Notice of Work permitting process through the Natural Resource Permitting Project, and it has asked AME and its members to provide feedback on the draft process and templates for setting up client profiles, filing notices, checking permit status and other such key components.
What action AME is taking
AME’s Land Access and Use Committee has a complementary goal of identifying and eliminating inconsistencies in the review of mineral exploration Notice of Work permit applications. To help ensure that mineral exploration programs in BC are permitted as efficiently as possible, a group of Committee members, led by Jill Pardoe, AME Director and former BC mines inspector (see link to Jill’s bio at: http://www.amebc.ca/about-us/board-of-directors/jill-pardoe), will be working with the five MEM regional offices to identify impediments in the permitting process. Our shared priority goal will be to correct as many permitting challenges as possible this field season so that AME members can get to work.
Inform AME of your specific concerns and issues regarding the current mineral exploration Notice of Work permitting process in BC by contacting Jill Pardoe at firstname.lastname@example.org or Rick Conte at email@example.com and 604.630.3926 and by participating in the following Notice of Work survey: http://bit.ly/NoWSurvey