Over the past 10 years mining companies (and their engineering consultants) have had to wait longer to receive exploration permits, according to a Fraser Institute report.
Issued February 22, the report finds that Ontario is a “clear laggard” in terms of how efficient, transparent and certain its approvals process is. But it found that permit times are increasing not just in Ontario, but also across Canada.
Permit Times for Mining Exploration: How Long Are They? was co-authored by the institute’s Kenneth Green and Taylor Jackson, based on the opinions and experiences of professionals in mining.
Green notes : “Growing wait times for permits add to the cost of exploration and therefore deter investment and ultimately hinder Canada’s ability to realize its considerable mineral potential,”
In Ontario 68% of the respondents said that permit approval wait times had grown over the previous 10 years. This compared with 52% in Quebec and 40% in British Columbia.
When the survey respondents were asked about transparency and clarity in the permitting process, those in Saskatchewan were happiest, with 87% saying yes. This compared to 76% who were happy in Quebec, and 64% in Ontario.
In Ontario, a quarter of mining company officials asked said the level of transparency in the permitting process in Ontario is a strong deterrent to exploration investment.
“All jurisdictions across Canada need to understand that long wait times have the potential to deter mining companies from even applying for permits. Ultimately, uncompetitive mining policies can discourage exploration and subsequently lower job creation and tax revenues,” Green said.