Ontario Mining Act amended
On October 21, the government of Ontario passed legislation to amend the province's Mining Act. The chan...
On October 21, the government of Ontario passed legislation to amend the province’s Mining Act. The changes are substantial and will fundamentally change the work of consulting engineers working in this sector in the province. The government describes the changes under The Act to amend the Mining Act (Bill 173) as follows:
– Incorporating aboriginal consultation in mining legislation and regulations
– Introducing a dispute-resolution process for aboriginal-related issues in mining
– Requiring awareness training to obtain a prospector’s licence
– Strengthening environmental considerations during mineral exploration
– Creating an efficient, made-in-Ontario map staking system
– Protecting the property rights of private land owners who do not own their mineral rights.
The provincial Ministry of Northern Development, Mines and Forestry is to start consulting with stakeholders to develop the regulations to govern the above new processes.
Another piece of legislation, Bill 191, the Far North Act, is even more controversial than Bill 173 and is being opposed vigorously by not only First Nations, notably the Nishnawbe Aski Nation that represents communities in an area of two-thirds of the province, but also by the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC).
For a presentation to a government Standing Committee at Queen’s Park on August 6, PDAC pointed out that the mining industry is already in a vulnerable economic position and wrote: “Bill 191 would ensure that there will be no exploration or mine development in the Far North for the Foreseeable future, since it will take a great deal of time to develop land-use plans.”