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.

Just Posted

Terrace conservation service seeing an increase in bear sightings

Officer reminds public to be bear-aware and keep attractants away

Terrace man killed in logging accident ‘would have done anything for anyone’

Wife remembers 43-year old Petr Koncek, father of two children

New Seven Sisters replacement confirmed

Mental health facility will have 25 beds, up from 20 in current facility

Skeena Voices | The strums of euphony

Music teacher Geoffrey Parr will be retiring after 30 years at Caledonia Secondary School

Kelowna toddler suffers cracked skull after fall from balcony

Neighbour who found the two-year-old boy said he has a bump the size of a golf ball on his head

RCMP probe if teen was intentionally hit with ski pole by mystery skier on B.C. mountain

The incident happened on March 20 on Grouse Mountain. Police are urging witnesses to come forward

Support growing for orphaned Okanagan child after father dies in highway crash

Family thanks emergency crews for assistance in traumatic incident

Baby boom seniors putting pressure on B.C. long-term care: report

B.C. leads Canada in growth of dementia, dependence on care

Pipeline protester chimes in on Justin Trudeau’s B.C. fundraising speech

The government purchased the Trans Mountain pipeline and expansion project for $4.5 billion

UPDATED: B.C. man says he’ll take People’s Party lawsuit as far as he can

Federal judge shut down Satinder Dhillon’s ‘nonsensical’ motion to bar use of PPC name in byelection

Canada stripping citizenship from Chinese man over alleged marriage fraud

The move comes amid severely strained relations between Ottawa and Beijing

Nevada court orders former Vancouver man to pay back $21.7M to investors

The commission says Michael Lathigee committed fraud over a decade ago

Most Read