Mine approval process addresses the requirements of environmental, mining and land use legislation. The process is coordinated by the Department of Natural Resources and Energy Development through the secretary of the Standing Committee on Mining and the Environment (SCME). This committee comprises representatives of government agencies (Department of Natural Resources and Energy Development, Department of Environment and Local Government, and Environment Canada) that administer legislation applicable to mining-related activities. The committee provides “one-window” access for companies seeking mine approvals. Although the Standing Committee coordinates the process, the participating agencies are responsible for issuing the required approvals.
The mine approval process applies to mining lease approvals as well as applications for advanced exploration (e.g., bulk sampling, underground development). Potash Agreements and Coal Agreements require additional consideration and negotiation with the Minister of Natural Resources and Energy Development.
The SCME also serves as the focal point for other mining and environment-related regulatory issues as they arise, such as construction permits, operating permits, and environmental protection. Information to help understand mine approvals and processing requirements is available in the links section on the right.