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.
AME’s Advocacy with Regard to 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.
Following collaboration with AME and industry, the provincial government introduced new requirements and improvements for Notice of Work applications on November 30, 2021. New requirements include using BCeID login credentials and uploading geospatial data, both of which will help improve application processing timelines and communication. On February 22, 2022, as part of Budget 2022, the government also announced nearly $4 million going directly to Regional Mining Offices over two years to make Notice of Work permitting more efficient, a direct result of AME’s “Our Time is Now” advocacy campaign following the release of Budget 2021. These funds have also now been included in the base budget going forward.
In BC, explorers who plan to undertake mechanized mineral exploration activities must complete a Notice of Work (NoW) application to receive permits to explore. What does that process look like? We have created a handy infographic to guide our members. View the infographic.
Mineral and Coal Exploration Notice of Work Application Companion. This guide was released in March 2020.