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Permitting and


Permitting and authorizations are the most significant challenge for advanced development projects, operating mines and smelters.

Permitting timelines need to be addressed.

Governments must ensure that its permitting and authorization processes are timely, predictable and consistent so that mines and smelter operations and new projects are not unnecessarily delayed – putting BC jobs, revenue to pay for public services and investment at risk.

The minerals and metals we produce here in BC can help the world achieve the Paris Agreement’s climate targets. Some are so vital to our climate, economic and national security, they’re now designated as “Critical Minerals” by Canada and other governments.

A study by the International Energy Agency determined that to reach global net zero by 2050, the world will need six times the metals and minerals in 2040 compared with today. It currently takes up to 15 years to permit a new mine in Canada. One important step provincial and federal governments can take is to designate critical minerals mines as nationally significant projects and provide the resources to expedite environmental reviews and permitting.

MABC recognizes that the provincial government increased funding to the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation, and realigned ministerial responsibilities with the creation of the Ministry of Land, Water and Resource Stewardship. However, permitting delays remain a substantial obstacle for the mining and smelting sector.

Challenges with permitting and authorizations fall into three categories: coordination and communication; predictability; and intergovernmental policy cohesion, consistency, and cooperation.

Coordination and Communication

MABC members and British Columbians expect the provincial government to function as a single entity, with processes, referrals and decision making coordinated between ministries. Internal government communication challenges continue to be a frequent cause of issues, resulting in construction and/or operational delays at BC mines.  This is further exacerbated by overlaps in planning processes


The overall predictability of the permitting and authorization process continues to be a challenge with respect to timeframes, changing expectations and processes, and resources required to get through multiple rounds of review.

Predictability is essential for business planning and unexpected delays often result in cost increases, business and investment risk, and undercut the international reputation of BC as a stable place to do business.

Intergovernmental Coordination

The development of new mines and major mine expansions frequently requires approval from multiple levels of governments. The provincial government should seek a consistent, coordinated, and collaborative effort with the federal government to ensure timely permitting and authorizations for all mining projects advancing in BC. In areas of overlapping responsibility, governments must coordinate to advance critical minerals strategies and climate action goals.