Mine Permitting

There are generally two different groups of mine permitting in B.C. major mines and regional permits.

Major Mine Permitting

Proposed major mines, major expansions or upgrades to existing mines, and some large-scale exploration or development projects require approval under the Mines Act as per part 10.1 of the Health, Safety and Reclamation Code for Mines in British Columbia. The Major Mines Office (MMO) brings clear accountability to both industry and government to ensure timely, high-quality applications and enduring decisions are made with respect to permitting major mine projects.

The integrated Mines Act and Environmental Management Act   permitting process includes a detailed technical review of geotechnical and geoscience information, as well as reclamation and closure plans. The Ministry of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation and the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy have developed a guidance document (PDF, 860KB) on joint application information requirements, as well as information on other authorizations required for major mining projects.  Joint applications are reviewed by project-specific Mine Review Committees led by MMO project leads.

Major mines and expansions (including large-scale industrial mineral and aggregate mines) in B.C. typically require environmental assessment certificates. For more information, please visit the website of the B.C. Environmental Assessment Office.

Regional Permitting

Applications for mineral and coal exploration activities, placer mines, and smaller-scale industrial minerals mines and aggregate pits/quarries are made online through FrontCounterBC. These are called "Notice of Work" (NoW) applications and are regulated by the Mines Act. NoWs are managed by the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation regional offices, with some being reviewed by regional Mine Development Review Committees.