TORONTO—Ontario has announced new legislation that aims to balance environmental protection with economic growth as well as modernize mining claims.
According to the province, the Aggregate Resources and Mining Modernization Act, if passed, would create a modern framework to help aggregate companies and communities across the province to continue building roads, hospitals, schools and other vital infrastructure projects with these resources by:
better outlining and overseeing regulations for aggregate companies;
updating fees and royalties on aggregates to ensure fairness to companies; and
increasing public participation in the extraction application process.
The act would modernize the management of resource extraction in the province to help increase growth and competitiveness and improve oversight in the aggregates industry, explains a release.
The legislation would also enhance environmental accountability in the aggregates sector by ensuring the protection of vital resources like farmland, groundwater and air, adds the release.
In the mining industry, the proposed bill would allow claims to be made online, which would in turn improve how claims are registered through the modernization of the electronic mining lands administration system, the release states. Online claims registration would also make boundaries more precise.
In 2015, Ontario's mining sector supported 26,000 direct jobs and 50,000 additional jobs in processing and manufacturing, and produced $10.8 billion in minerals.