Permitting for Natural Resource Major Projects

A major natural resource project needs multiple applications and permits. Companies need to work closely with FrontCounter BC, natural resource ministries and a major project team representative to coordinate the permits they need before they can start development.

Here’s an overview of permitting activities for each project phase:

Phase

Activities

Pre-application

Provide an overview of project activities

Scope proposed project to determine potential conflicts, required permits and tenures

Identify application package requirements and submission

Identify and engage First Nations involved

Outline project-specific process and timelines

Submission and screening

Proponent submits application package

Government screens application package to ensure all requirements and submission standards are met

Review and recommendation

Formal technical review of submitted application package

Identification and resolution of technical issues related to the proposed project (e.g. overlapping tenures, mitigation)

Engagement and consultation with First Nations

Coordinated consultation with all levels of government

Public review and comment (as required)

Decision

Decision package preparation; authorization documents are drafted and submitted

Provincial statutory decision makers adjudicate the applications submitted by the proponent

Statutory decision makers can approve application(s) with conditions, disallow application(s), or request further information

Implementation and closeout

Coordinated reviews of all monitoring and reporting requirements

Ensure project aligns with required conditions

Coordinate compliance and enforcement of authorizations

Environmental Assessment Review

Projects usually need to complete an environmental assessment and receive a certificate before permitting can begin. This doesn’t include permits required for the initial investigation phase.

Concurrent Permitting

To get necessary approvals quicker, proponents can apply through the Environmental Assessment Office for a concurrent review of authorizations while the environmental assessment review is underway. In the absence of an Environmental Assessment Certificate, project teams will need to provide plenty of detailed information to ministries to base their decisions on and issue permits.