Multi-Year Area-Based Permitting
The Mines Act (section 10(3)) provides the Chief Inspector of Mines (and delegated inspectors) with the authority to set the length of term for permits issued under section 10.
Multi-year area-based (MYAB) permitting is the practice of authorizing exploration activities, typically for up to five years within identified activity area(s) underlain by the mineral or coal tenure area of the project. Proponents have the flexibility to execute exploration programs over the entire area and through the life cycle of the authorization as field results and market conditions dictate.
Inspectors authorize annual activities on the site by reviewing and accepting a MYAB Work Program Annual Update that outlines planned activities for the coming year and an Annual Summary of Exploration Activities (ASEA) that outlines the activities conducted over the previous year.
The use of MYAB permitting remains at the discretion of the inspector based on the nature of the proposed work, including the geographic or geologic conditions of the work area, the inspectors experience with the proponent and wildlife or other values on the land base. Applicants should work closely with inspectors to determine whether MYAB permitting makes sense for their specific situation.
- Multi-Year Area-Based permit applications are accepted through FrontCounterBC.
Objectives of MYAB Permitting
- To provide proponents with the approval to carry out an exploration program over a specified area, typically for up to five years.
- To provide more certainty to companies by enabling them to commit to longer-term work programs based on overall projected impacts.
- To provide MMRD with the ability to review and consult on a longer-range basis, thus eliminating repetitive referrals for First Nations, communities, clients, MMRD staff and other government agencies for the same or similar work in a given area.
- To outline the scope of a work program for First Nations in a manner that facilitates meaningful discussion regarding possible impacts to First Nations rights while reducing the administrative burden on First Nations communities.
- To improve communications with First Nations through ongoing sharing of information on the progression of approved exploration activities.
- To provide companies with the flexibility to change the sequence of exploration activities and modify exploration plans as field results dictate, within the scope of the approved Mines Act permit.
- To provide a more accurate footprint of exploration activities that will assist in cumulative effects assessments and provide greater transparency to the public regarding the full scope of a mining activity and its impacts.
As with all applications, to ensure both exploration applications and approved activities meet the health and safety standards and environmental protection requirements contained in the Mines Act, the Health, Safety and Reclamation Code for Mines in British Columbia and all other applicable legislation.