To permit, or not to permit, that is the question! – by Tamer Elbokl, PhD (Canadian Mining Journal – November 1, 2023)

Currently, it takes up to 15 years to permit a new mine in Canada. To resolve the challenges with permitting and authorizations, provincial and federal governments must provide the resources to expedite environmental reviews and permitting.

The federal government plans to accelerate permitting processes and expedite the production of critical minerals. However, other government policies continue to hurt Canada’s attractiveness for mining investment.

A recent decision by Canada’s Supreme Court has declared certain provisions of Canada’s Impact Assessment Act (IAA) unconstitutional. The ruling specifically found the IAA’s provisions related to the assessment of “designated projects” to be outside the jurisdiction of the federal Parliament and, therefore, unconstitutional.

This decision is expected to lead to significant revisions to the IAA, which was passed in 2019. A response by the Mining Association of Canada (MAC) noted the uncertainty caused by the ruling will impact the mining industry and Canada’s energy transition, with many projects across the country currently undergoing federal assessment and more entering the process.

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