COVID-19 Information

Closure of FrontCounter BC In-Person Services

In order to limit the ongoing spread of COVID-19 and to protect the health and well-being of employees, customers and the public. Effective MARCH 20, 2020 the 30 FrontCounter BC in-person services will be closed.

For assistance, please Contact FrontCounter BC. The staff are still there to serve you via telephone, online, and email.

MEMPR is discouraging the use of NROS in the interim and suggesting applicants use vFCBC

The public are asked to use the call centre and online systems to engage with FCBC. Note MEMPR is discouraging the use of NROS in the interim and suggesting applicants use vFCBC.

Update:

  • The NROS application system is currently using a lot of the call centre and FCBC resources to deal with the issues associated with navigating the Notice of Work application process. This is due to some critical errors yet to be resolved and this will require more time and resources than are available at this time.
  • In the interim, the Natural Resource Online Services website will be directing all Activity Guidance, Authorization Guidance, and Homepage ‘Apply Now’ hyperlinks to the vFCBC application form, instead of NROS.
  • vFCBC is still fully functional at this point and integrates with MMS. Note that FCBC staff will continue to screen for bundling opportunities based on the application. NoW Companion guidance document was built to integrate with the NROS system, so may not be as helpful but can be used to help in the application process in vFCBC.
  • NROS is NOT being shut down we are just trying to reroute traffic. Applicants will still able to access applications in progress from within their NROS client Dashboard (using the ‘Log In’ button) and start a new application from within the dashboard, but only from this location. NROS is not being shut down we are just trying to reroute traffic, as the major of applicants use links on FCBC’s website to initiate a NoW application, so this should help to move the bulk of all new applications to vFCBC.
  • This systems direction will be switched as of 2:00 PM PST, March 18th, 2020 should you have any comments or concern please feel free to reach out to Mike Ward ([email protected]), Shana Bow ([email protected]) Ashley Spear, or myself ([email protected])

Regards,
 
Nadia Bruemmer, P.Geo.
Senior Inspector of Mines, Permitting, Regional Operations
Project Manager for Regional Mines Standardization and Service Improvement Project
Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources
Mines, Competiveness and Authorizations Division
Phone: 250-420-6204
[email protected]

Contact FrontCounter BC

—————————————————————————————————————————

Permitting

The ability of mineral explorers to obtain permits expediently is a critical foundation of mineral exploration and development. AME advocates on behalf its members to ensure that Notice of Work permits are issued by the BC government in a timely and predictable manner so that mineral exploration projects can proceed.

With the support of its members, AME has successfully advocated for necessary resources to fund staffing for mineral exploration projects without passing on costs to proponents. We continue to work with government to make sure members have the proper information and guidance available to successfully complete permit applications.

The best indicator of the success of mineral exploration is a producing mine, and AME has been actively involved in the development of a revitalized provincial Environmental Assessment Act and regulations to ensure that new legislation is both practical and compatible with the federal Impact Assessment Act.

Challenges with Notice of Work Permitting

AME members have been facing a number of challenges with obtaining Notice of Work permits in a reasonable timeframe. In some cases, it is taking considerably longer than six months to obtain a permit for small, simple exploration programs. Explorers are losing a field season and in the worst cases are losing investor confidence. The BC government and AME have been working hard to position BC as one of the most attractive jurisdictions in the world for mineral exploration, but we have to ensure AME members can get out on the ground and explore!

To better understand the permitting challenges, AME undertook interviews with members in the late fall of 2018. These are members who are active in permitting projects across the province. The findings were very informative and have formed the basis for AME’s continued engagement and advocacy with government around improvements to the permitting process.

A summary of the findings from these interviews along with preliminary recommendations on how to address some of the challenges were presented and discussed at a meeting between government, AME and industry at Mineral Exploration Roundup in January 2019. See the report.

As of March 2020, we are continuing to work with government to address permitting challenges, and we will update this section of our website as new information becomes available.   

Resources

Mineral and Coal Exploration Notice of Work Application Companion. This guide was released in March 2020.

    AME/MEMPR and OneEighty held a Permitting Workshop at KEG 2019. The presentation provided updates and tips for preparing an effective mineral & coal exploration notice of work (NOW) applications. View the presentation.