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October 31, 2023
Following consultation with stakeholders, Indigenous Governments and Organizations, and the public, the Honourable Andrew Parsons, KC, Minister of Industry, Energy and Technology, today outlined proposed amendments to the Mineral Act.
The Mineral Act regulates the issuance and maintenance of land tenure for the purposes of mineral exploration and mining in the province. The total value of mineral shipments for the province in 2022 was $5.2 billion, with an estimated $243 million spent on exploration activities. Mining related employment for the same period was estimated to be 9,021 person years.
The proposed amendments to the Act deal with the issues of licence terms and licence reinstatement.
Several licence holders have mineral licences approaching the maximum 30-year term provided for in the current legislation. Some of these licences will reach the 30 year mark in November 2024. A proposed amendment will enable unlimited one-year extensions after 20 years, provided the licence holder meets the annual expenditure requirements and provides a pathway for exploration activities to continue. This is aligned with other jurisdictions, as most have open-ended licence terms.
Another proposed amendment will enable licence holders to apply to have mineral licences reinstated within 30 days after cancellation or expiration in certain specific instances. There will be a fee to the licence holder associated with the reinstatement, proposed to be set at $100 per claim with a $1,000 minimum per licence.
If passed, these amendments are meant to avoid unanticipated negative impacts on current exploration investment decisions from when the Act was last updated.
“Our government is committed to ensuring that legislation is modern, comprehensive and adopts best practices from other jurisdictions that regulate mineral tenure, mineral exploration and mining. These amendments ensure that the province can continue to regulate mineral development in a manner that is responsible, sustainable and competitive to enhance private-sector investments and job growth.”
Honourable Andrew Parsons, KC
Minister of Industry, Energy and Technology
What We Heard – Mineral Act Review
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