Streamlined review process for major mining projects to spur jobs and economic growth
OTTAWA, April 17, 2012 /CNW/ - The Mining Association of Canada (MAC) is pleased with the federal government's plan for Responsible Resource Development as part of its 2012 Economic Action Plan, announced today by the Minister of Natural Resources, the Honourable Joe Oliver.
Today's announcement committed to modernizing the environmental review, permitting and enforcement processes under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA) for mining and oil projects. This will be achieved by enabling a "one project, one review" system for reviews of major projects whereby provincial reviews can be recognized as equivalent to federal reviews as long as they meet the requirements of the CEAA.
"We support the government's plans to provide a more coherent and coordinated approach to environmental assessments for major mining projects," said Pierre Gratton, MAC's President and CEO. "With $140 billion in potential new mining investment over the next five years, the efficiency and clarity that will result from these reforms will allow Canada to better compete internationally for investment and take advantage of growing emerging market demand for commodities."
"Greater efficiency and coordination in the review process will not come at a cost to the environment," added Gratton. "The regulatory changes are targeted specifically to introducing predictable and realistic timelines for reviews, as well as eliminating duplication between provincial and federal governments in the review and consulting processes."
According the government's Action Plan, consultations with Aboriginal peoples will improve through better coordination and enhanced support. "We welcome the reforms as they will help make consultations with Aboriginal communities more effective," said Gratton.
The plan also commits to set fixed timelines for project reviews and permitting. For example, a decision on whether a federal environmental assessment is required under the CEAA must be made within 45 days. There will also be set timelines for hearings and assessments—24 months for panel reviews, 18 months for National Energy Board hearings and 12 months for standard environmental assessments.
"We look forward to seeing the legislation for further details. However, at this time, we see this as good news for the mining industry, as well as individual Canadians in terms of job creation. Mining is one of Canada's highest-paying sectors and is expected to need about 100,000 new workers over the next decade to meet demand," added Gratton.
The Mining Association of Canada is the national organization for the Canadian mining industry. Its members account for most of Canada's production of base and precious metals, uranium, diamonds, metallurgical coal, mined oil sands and industrial minerals and are actively engaged in mineral exploration, mining, smelting, refining and semi-fabrication. Please visit www.mining.ca.
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