Canada to streamline permitting process: Energy Minister

Canada’s Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Jonathan Wilkinson told Reuters that the country plans to boost its energy security by slashing the time it takes to develop new critical mineral mines.

“(We’re) looking at how do we optimize the regulatory and permanent processes so you can take what is a 12- to 15-year process and bring it down to maybe five,” he said.

“There are ways you can just do things smarter … There’s no reason that you can’t do permitting of different things between federal and provincial governments at the same time, instead of doing them sequentially.”

The news agency reported that Canada plans to reduce the time to approve mining permits by better funding the regulatory agency to reduce paperwork backlogs, and running permitting and environmental assessment processes at the same time.

To cover costs, the country is putting in place investment tax credits to pay for a “significant chunk” of the capital associated with new mining and mineral processing projects, Wilkinson said. Funds are also ready to be made available for infrastructure like transmission lines and roads that will help accelerate the development of new minerals.

A loan guarantee program is being put in place as well to provide access for indigenous communities to low-cost debt for investing as equity participants in existing and future projects, Wilkinson told Reuters.

He noted that streamlining permitting and environmental assessments would not lead to corner-cutting. “I think the environmental community also recognizes that there is no energy transition without significantly enhanced volumes of critical minerals.”

Canada is focused on six critical minerals: lithium, graphite, nickel, cobalt, copper, and rare earth elements.

Source: Reuters

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