Energy and Mines Minister Michelle Mungall greeted a mining-exploration sector that is looking for more certainty, clarity and speed from government on permitting its activities as she helped open its annual convention in Vancouver on Monday.
Mungall is “a fabulous supporter” of mining, said Kendra Johnston, CEO of the Association of Mineral Exploration B.C., but exploration firms need certainty around the timeliness of permits and consistency around permit requirements. “Government is well aware of the issues industry has been having,” Johnston said.
Mungall, along with Paul Lefebvre, the federal parliamentary secretary for natural resources, helped open the Association for Mineral Exploration’s 2020 Roundup convention, which brings together more than 5,000 delegates from industry, government and First Nations for one of the biggest technical conferences on mining exploration in Canada.
As the 2020 conference opened, however, mineral exploration is also a sector facing its challenges. B.C. has seen no new mines open in the last two years, B.C. Liberal forestry critic John Rustad pointed out during a panel with Mungall and Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation Scott Fraser.
And Rustad added that B.C. needs to improve on permitting issues that see work delayed, which makes the province appear less attractive as a destination for mining investment, which is important in a jurisdiction where mining makes a significant contribution to the province’s export sector.
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