Legislation, introduced today, April 14, will improve Nova Scotia’s competitive position and encourage mineral exploration and development.
The new Mineral Resources Act (2016) strives to ensure a balance between economic development and having the tools to protect the land. It cuts red tape for industry and government, and makes it easier and less expensive for industry to manage exploration licences. It replaces the Mineral Resources Act (1990).
“Our new legislation strikes the right balance between stimulating the economy – particularly in rural Nova Scotia – and managing our natural resources,” said Natural Resources Minister Lloyd Hines. “We want to improve Nova Scotia’s competitive position, promote an open-for-business environment for mining, and ensure effective community engagement in our province.”
The new act is aligned with the goals for growth and renewal in the ONE Nova Scotia Report, by helping the mining sector improve productivity and competitiveness.
The bill is the product of several years of work and follows public consultations with Nova Scotians. The Mineral Resources Act had not been substantially reviewed since 1990.
“The Mining Association of Nova Scotia applauds the government’s overhaul of the Mineral Resources Act,” said Sean Kirby, association executive director. “These changes will make the act more modern and efficient and encourage more investment and job creation in Nova Scotia.
“The mining industry already employs 5,500 Nova Scotians and we believe that number will grow as the government implements policies that make the province a more attractive place to invest.”
The key elements of the new legislation include:
–- providing two-year exploration licences instead of the current one-year licence so licence holders have more time to work on their claims
— requiring companies to develop and implement engagement plans, which is a first in Canada and separate from the engagement required as part of the environmental assessment process
–- increasing the deadline for beginning mining production from two years to five years once a lease has been issued
–- requiring written permission from landowners for all work that causes a disturbance, like drilling and trenching
–- requiring companies to complete reclamation plans based on the highest level or peak of disturbance of a project.