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‘It shouldn’t take 15 years to open a mine’: Ontario proposes mines act changes

6th March 2023

By: Creamer Media Reporter

     

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The Ontario government has introduced legislation to amend the Mining Act that, if passed, will attract more investment in the province’s mining sector while strengthening the made-in-Ontario critical minerals supply chains for batteries, electric vehicles, telecommunications, pharmaceuticals and other advanced manufacturing technologies.

“It shouldn’t take 15 years to open a mine. This process is too time-consuming and costly, leading to project delays and lost opportunities for Ontario’s mineral exploration and mining sector,” said Mines Minister George Pirie.

“We need to get building. That’s why our government is introducing changes to the Mining Act to help attract more investment and secure the critical minerals that support the made-in-Ontario supply chain for new technologies like batteries and electric vehicles.”

If passed, the Building More Mines Act, 2023 would save mining companies time and money by making it easier for companies to get a permit to recover minerals from mine tailings and waste, improving closure planning by having more qualified professionals available to certify plans and allowing companies to conditionally file a closure plan while deferring certain elements to a later date, allowing more flexibility in the techniques used to rehabilitate mines once they are closed, while upholding Ontario’s world-class environmental protection standards, and creating more options for companies to pay financial assurance. Instead of paying financial assurance upfront, it could be paid in phases tied to the project’s construction schedule.

At a time when Ontario is securing investments in its growing automotive sector, these changes would benefit the entire minerals sector and advance Ontario’s plan to build an integrated supply chain by connecting mineral producers in the north, including those in the Ring of Fire, with the manufacturing sector in the south.

The modifications to the Mining Act would increase certainty for business planning and generate investment in Northern Ontario to provide significant economic development opportunities for northern and Indigenous communities.

The proposed package of legislative amendments is open for public comment until April 16, 2023.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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