Helicopter maps mineral potential in remote areas using magnetic imaging. (Geoscience BC)

B.C. mineral exploration permits taking longer: survey

Investor confidence better in Sweden, Australia, executives say

The B.C. government has spent millions over the years to increase mineral exploration, but a survey of company executives suggests increasing worry about whether mining projects can receive the permits they need in a reasonable time.

Time and transparency of the permit process were increasing concerns of investors in B.C., Ontario and Quebec, according to an annual survey comparing Canada to other countries, released Tuesday by the Fraser Institute. The economic think tank has been surveying mining industry decision-makers since 1997.

Respondents to the 2017 survey indicated that permit approval times have lengthened in the past decade in B.C., Ontario and Quebec, compared with results from Australia and Scandinavia. The survey showed that confidence the necessary permits would be granted is also higher in the U.S.

Mining exploration across B.C.’s Interior has been a major focus for B.C. The previous government financed aerial magnetic surveys by Geoscience BC to look for signs of metal and mineral deposits across a vast area covered by glacial material from the past Ice Age.

RELATED: B.C. promotes search for new mines

Geoscience BC has conducted 135 projects to assemble new scientific data for about half of the province’s area. The largest geophysical survey ever conducted in B.C. was done in 2016, financed by a $5 million grant from the province.

“An increasingly opaque and confusing application process for companies to explore for mineral deposits deters investment and ultimately hinders Canada’s ability to realize its considerable resource potential,” said Kenneth Green, co-author of Permit Times for Mining Exploration in 2017.

B.C.’s minority NDP government has embarked on a review of industrial project approvals to target what Environment Minister George Heyman called “failures in the professional reliance model in B.C. so that British Columbians’ faith in resource development can be restored.”

A consultant’s report recommending a new “office of professional regulation and oversight” for foresters, engineers, biologists and other professions was greeted with alarm by industry leaders.

Business Council of B.C. president Greg D’Avignon called the report “a solution looking for a problem that confuses regulatory capacity in government with the role of qualified professionals who design projects and conduct environmental surveys.”


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislaturemining

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Weather warning issued for the Comox Valley

Series of storms to hit the east coast of Vancouver Island this week

Police reminding drivers about school zones, passing buses

“There is no excuse - everyone should know the kids are back to school.”

Lake Trail students plan special project for Orange Shirt Day

Orange Shirt Day recognizes Indigenous children who were sent to residential schools

Citing stability, B.C. Premier calls snap election for Oct. 24

John Horgan meets with Lieutenant Governor to request vote

BC Timber Sales’ operations on the North Island and Central Coast to be audited

The Forest Practices Board randomly chose the region to check for compliance to legislation

COVID-19: 4 more deaths, 366 new cases in B.C. since Friday

A total of 8,208 people in B.C. have tested positive for COVID-19 since January

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Cowichan Valley family overwhelmed with 14 Lab puppies

Litter may be one of the biggest ever

First full day of B.C.’s election campaign begins amid COVID-19 pandemic

B.C. Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson and the Green party’s Sonia Furstenau criticized John Horgan’s decision

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

RCMP issue two $2,300 COVID fines at same Metro Vancouver vacation rental within 24 hours

Cpl. Mike Kalanj said it was ‘quite frankly appalling’ to see parties breaking COVID-19 rules

Here’s how voting amid a pandemic will happen in B.C.

Elections BC has worked with the provincial health office to determine safety protocols for voting

B.C. privacy commissioner will hear First Nations complaints about COVID

The hearing will rely on written submissions from the Indigenous governments as well as the Ministry of Health

Most Read