Tag Archives | Ontario Mining Act

Will the Ontario Government Strengthen or Hold Back the Province’s Booming Mining Sector – by Gregory Reynolds

Gregory Reynolds - Timmins ColumnistThe Dark Days for the British Columbia mining industry began in 1991 with the election of a New Democratic Party government. The introduction of intolerable tax levels eventual led in some instances to mining companies paying 103 per cent taxes on income.

It led to 10 years of stagnation. Money, jobs and people fled the province. The question that mining people in Ontario are asking these days is whether that could happen here.

The lesson of B.C. should be enough for a provincial government to be careful in its handling of an industry that is cyclical in nature and dependent on economic factors largely beyond its control. It seems politicians find certain elementary facts hard to accept.

The Canadian mining industry operates in an environment where prices and demand are determined elsewhere. Commodity prices are not set in Canada.

Payment is in U.S. dollars and therefore the monetary policies of our giant neighbour to the south are more important than those under the control of Queen’s Park or even Ottawa.

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Ontario Mining Act Public Consultations are Flawed – by Don McKinnon

The world-class Hemlo deposit was the major gold discovery in Canada during the 1980s. The three individuals who were responsible for discovering one of the country’s richest gold camps were Don McKinnon, John Larche and David Bell. Don McKinnon is still an active Timmins-based prospector.

It was a farce.

That is the only way to describe the so-called public consultation session on changes to the Ontario Mining Act (OMA) held in Timmins Aug.11.

The 70 people who turned out were told they could not:

1-ask questions;

2-make any statements to the room;

3-have any other material other than a government handout; and

4-question Northern Development and Mines Minister Michael Gravelle as he broke his promise to attend.

Any changes to the OMA will have an important bearing, either a negative or positive impact, on a $10.7 billion Ontario industry.

Premier Dalton McGuinty wants “focused discussions” with municipalities, the mineral industry, Aboriginals, prospectors and the public. He certainly went about it in a strange way. Continue Reading →

Modernizing Ontario’s Mining Act (6 of 6)

Ontario, the largest mineral producer in Canada, is modernizing its Mining Act. These six postings are from a provincial policy document – titled “Modernizing Ontario’s Mining Act – Finding A Balance” produced by the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines.

Elements of the Review

The government believes five critical policy issues must be addressed in this review of Ontario’s Mining Act:

1. Mineral tenure system and security of investment

Potential adjustments to the mineral tenure system, including free entry, to assure investment security while taking into account other interests, including Aboriginal community concerns and private landowners’ issues.

2. Aboriginal rights and interests related to mining development

Potential approaches to consultation and accommodation related to the broad range of mineral sector activities as they affect Aboriginal and treaty rights.

3. Regulatory processes for exploration activities on Crown Land

Potential approaches to regulating exploration activities, including consultation and accommodation with Aboriginal communities.

4. Land use planning in Ontario’s Far North

Potential approaches to the requirement that new mines in the Far North would need community land use plans supported by local First Nations.

5. Private rights and interests relating to mining development (mineral rights/surface rights issues)

Potential approaches to address mineral rights and surface rights issues.

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Modernizing Ontario’s Mining Act (5 of 6)

Ontario, the largest mineral producer in Canada, is modernizing its Mining Act. These six postings are from a provincial policy document – titled “Modernizing Ontario’s Mining Act – Finding A Balance” produced by the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines.

Ontario’s Mining Act

The purpose of the Mining Act, which applies throughout Ontario, is “to encourage prospecting, staking and exploration for the development of mineral resources and to minimize the impact of these activities on public health and safety and the environment through rehabilitation of mining lands in Ontario.”

Despite its name, the Mining Act has limited application in the day-to-day activities of operating mines. Generally, it focuses on activities that occur before and after mineral production. These activities include the acquisition and maintenance of mineral rights – claim staking, prospecting, mineral exploration and mine development related to mining land tenure – and the safe, environmentally sustainable closure of mining operations.

The Mining Act does not, however, regulate the following matters, which are covered by other legislation:

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Modernizing Ontario’s Mining Act (4 of 6)

Ontario, the largest mineral producer in Canada, is modernizing its Mining Act. These six postings are from a provincial policy document – titled “Modernizing Ontario’s Mining Act – Finding A Balance” produced by the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines.

What We Have Learned So Far

Consultation with Aboriginal Communities

In February 2007, the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines released a discussion paper, Toward Developing an Aboriginal Consultation Approach for Mineral Sector Activities, and initiated a collaborative engagement process with the goal of developing an improved Aboriginal consultation approach.

The ministry held community-based discussions across Ontario, met with several political territorial organizations and tribal councils, as well as the Métis Nation of Ontario, and held several facilitated workshops. Through these discussions, we learned that Aboriginal communities have a variety of views on mineral sector activities, and when and how they want to be consulted.

Aboriginal communities told us:
• They want to be consulted and accommodated at all stages of the mining sequence, including preliminary exploration
• They desire meaningful participation in land use decision making and economic development
• They desire a measure of control over development within their traditional territories, including proposed activities before exploration work is undertaken
• They require assistance to build capacity that would allow them to participate fully.

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Modernizing Ontario’s Mining Act (3 of 6)

Ontario, the largest mineral producer in Canada, is modernizing its Mining Act. These six postings are from a provincial policy document – titled “Modernizing Ontario’s Mining Act – Finding A Balance” produced by the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines.

Purpose of the Review

Blueprint for Development

Released in March 2006, Ontario’s Mineral Development Strategy serves as a blueprint for the future of mineral development in Ontario. It commits Ontario to sound management, effective stewardship and responsible development of the province’s mineral resources.

Ontario is modernizing its Mining Act to ensure that this legislation promotes fair and balanced development that benefits all Ontarians in a sustainable, socially appropriate way, while supporting a vibrant, safe, environmentally sound mining industry.

Modernization will bring the Mining Act into harmony with the values of today’s society while maintaining a framework that supports the mineral industry’s contribution to Ontario’s economy. This process supports Premier Dalton McGuinty’s July 14, 2008 Far North Planning announcement, including his promise that the government will modernize the way mining companies stake and explore their claims to be more respectful of private land owners and Aboriginal communities.

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Modernizing Ontario’s Mining Act (2 of 6)

Ontario, the largest mineral producer in Canada, is modernizing its Mining Act. These six postings are from a provincial policy document – titled “Modernizing Ontario’s Mining Act – Finding A Balance” produced by the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines.

Overview of Ontario’s Mining Industry

The mineral sector is the largest private sector employer of Aboriginal workers in Canada.

Ontario is Canada’s largest producer of minerals, accounting for 28 per cent of the national total in 2007, at an approximate value of $10.7 billion. Exploration spending in Ontario has risen fourfold from $120 million in 2002 to $500 million in 2007. In 2008 that figure is expected to exceed $625 million.

Ontario is a leading producer in a number of base and precious metals. The province ranks among the top 10 global producers of platinum, nickel and cobalt and among the top 20 global producers of gold, silver, copper and zinc. Currently, there are 43 producing mines across Ontario: 28 metal mines; 14 major industrial mineral operations and Ontario’s first diamond mine.

The mining sector employs 100,000 Ontarians directly and indirectly. The average weekly earnings of the mining sector are 50 per cent higher than any of Ontario’s other industrial sectors. Mining companies inject approximately $1 billion annually into the Ontario economy and support over 1,000 local businesses.

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Ontario Mineral Industry can be First Nation Friendly – by Bill Bradley

Northern Life, Greater Sudbury’s community newspaper, gave Republic of Mining.com permission to post Bill Bradley’s article. www.northernlife.ca

Canadian Arrow Mines Given Award by Chief

Though some prospectors fumed about consulting with First Nations at the provincial Mining Act consultations last week in
Greater Sudbury, one upstart junior company has already shown it can be done.

Kim Tyler, president of Sudbury-based Canadian Arrow Mines, with over a dozen properties in northwestern Ontario, is comfortable
with a new emphasis by the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines on dealing properly with First Nations and environmental concerns.

The province is hosting meetings across Ontario as part of an effort to modernize the Mining Act.

“Dealing with First Nations is easy. Try knocking on their door first. Inform them who you are, what you are doing and what
opportunities there are for their members in terms of future jobs,” Tyler said at the sessions.

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Mixed Reaction at Ontario Mining Act Consultations – by Bill Bradley

Northern Life, Greater Sudbury’s community newspaper, gave Republic of Mining.com permission to post Bill Bradley’s article. www.northernlife.ca

Reaction was mixed at the provincial Mining Act consultations Wednesday night at the Howard Johnson Hotel on Brady Street. Some prospectors fumed they were not being properly consulted and bolted from the meeting while others stayed to express their concerns.

There is a process now underway to revise the Mining Act arising from promises made during the last provincial election.

“There is going to be new legislation developed this fall from issues arising from the far north protection of the boreal forest initiative by Premier McGuinty announced July 14 to bring in the interests of First Nations,” said Anne-Marie Flanagan with Northern Development and Mines Minister Michael Gravelle’s office.

“But the Mining Act covers the whole province including the rights of private property owners.”

The sessions are the first step in a consultation approach according to a discussion paper entitled Modernizing Ontario’s Mining Act: Finding A Balance that was handed out in the Sudbury session.

To be included in the discussions are the minerals industry, municipalities and other stakeholders, First Nations and Metis leaders, as well as input from First Nations communities across Ontario.

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