April 2016    Print this article

Implementation of the mining management component of the Natural Resource Fund

Lorraine Comtois
Ministère de l'Énergie et des Ressources naturelles

The mining management component of the Natural Resource Fund came into force on January 1, 2016. Among other things, it will finance the additional employees and computer system maintenance required to apply the new provisions of the Mining Act, including:

This new component, now that it is in force, will also help provide the additional resources needed to monitor site inspections and financial guarantee payments.

The Government has authorized the Minister of Finance to transfer $400,000 to this component for the last three months of 2015-2016, and $1.2 million for 2016-2017. These amounts are in addition to the budget allocations granted to the Direction générale de la gestion du milieu minier (DGGMM, or mining management directorate). In the following years, the component will receive similar provisions to meet its needs. It will allow the DGGMM to hire seven new employees: engineers, mineral resource technicians and legal research officers.

This component, announced in the 2012-2013 budget, has been eagerly anticipated. The provisions of the Act respecting the Ministère des Ressources naturelles et de la Faune were amended in June 2013, to allow for the addition of the component to the Natural Resource Fund. However, it was not until December 2015 that the Government enacted the order-in-council and took the other steps required to bring it into force.

Implementation of this component was made possible by an increase in claim-related charges of 8% on January 1, 2016, and 8% on January 1, 2017. The rent payable for a least to mine surface mineral substances has also been increased by 6% on January 1, 2016 and by a further 6% on January 1, 2017. In exchange, the MERN will undertake to simplify the administrative burden on its clients, and will also reduce claim processing timeframes. Where which there are no limitations on mining activity, claim applications will be processed within one working day. The MERN will also publish processing times on its website.

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