Mineral Exploration & Mine Development Permitting

Mineral Exploration Permitting

The rights associated with a mineral claim or mining lease do not provide the immediate right to conduct exploration work other than work that does not disturb the surface. Any work that includes surface disturbance must first be submitted to the government for review and approval prior to commencing the work.  The review process will very likely include public and First Nations consultation and accommodation and the work approval if granted, will have to be accompanied by a reclamation security deposit. The Association is a strong proponent of permitting timelines that give certainty regarding project development for both industry and the general public.

AME BC works to also ensure that policy related to permitting is both clearly and consistently communicated to both industry and the public.

AME BC has held the position that prospecting and exploration activities should be exempt from any such fees because these activities produce no revenue for prospectors and explorers; no other jurisdiction charges exploration permit fees; and such fees would be counter-productive to encouraging more investment in prospecting and exploring for new deposits in BC. In March 2014 AME BC submitted a letter and a policy paper to Hon. Bill Bennett, BC Minister of Energy, Mines and Responsible for Core Review in regards to the proposed mines act permit application fees, and in January 2015, the BC government announced that fees will not be applied to exploration and development. 

Click here to read the letter.
Click here to read the paper.

The Handbook for Mineral and Coal Exploration in British Columbia which was developed as a joint effort of the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources, the Ministry of Environment, the Association for Mineral Exploration British Columbia (AME BC) and the Mining Association of British Columbia is available.  It is meant to assist the BC mineral and coal exploration sectors in planning and implementing their exploration activities with due regard for worker health and safety and environmental protection.  See link below:


Forms for various types of exploration work programs can be found at the following site:

Mine Development Permitting

British Columbia has a stringent mine project review process in place. The regulations and policies here are some of the most rigorous in the world. This process ensures that mineral exploration and mining projects benefit local communities and provide economic benefits for all British Columbia.

The review process of a mine project is dependent on the nature and scope of the project.  The Environmental Assessment Act Reviewable Projects Regulations contain thresholds which define either use of the Environmental Assessment Act (EAA) or the Mines Act as the principal review process and agency. The Regulation contains the following words: “A new mine facility that, during operations, will have a production capacity of >75,000 tonnes/year of mineral ore”.  Where such a project meets this criteria, the project will follow the EAA review process.

See link to the Regulations: www.bclaws.ca/EPLibraries/bclaws_new/document/ID/freeside/13_370_2002#part3

AME BC Environmental Guiding Principles

AME BC recognizes that for present and future generations environmental stewardship is a fundamental cornerstone of a safe, modern, and sustainable mineral exploration and mining sector.

Click here to read the AME BC Environmental Guiding Principles.