Ontario Building a Stronger Mining Sector
New legislation paving the way for province to become a leading jurisdiction for mineral investment and development
March 2, 2023
TORONTO – The Ontario government has introduced legislation to amend the Mining Act, that will, if passed, attract more investment in the province’s mining sector while strengthening the made-in-Ontario critical minerals supply chains for batteries, electric vehicles, telecommunications, pharmaceuticals and other advanced manufacturing technologies.
“It shouldn’t take 15 years to open a mine. This process is too time consuming and costly, leading to project delays and lost opportunities for Ontario’s mineral exploration and mining sector,” said George Pirie, Minister of Mines. “We need to get building. That’s why our government is introducing changes to the Mining Act to help attract more investment and secure the critical minerals that support the made-in-Ontario supply chain for new technologies like batteries and electric vehicles.”
If passed, the Building More Mines Act, 2023 would save mining companies time and money by:
- Advancing critical minerals projects by making it easier for companies to get a permit to recover minerals from mine tailings and waste – materials left behind after the targeted minerals are extracted
- Improving closure planning by having more qualified professionals available to certify plans and allowing companies to conditionally file a closure plan while deferring certain elements to a later date
- Allowing more flexibility in the techniques used to rehabilitate mines once they are closed, while upholding Ontario’s world-class environmental protection standards
- Creating more options for companies to pay financial assurance. Instead of paying financial assurance upfront, it could be paid in phases tied to the project’s construction schedule.
At a time when Ontario is securing game-changing investments in its growing automotive sector, these changes would benefit the entire minerals sector and advance Ontario’s plan to build an integrated supply chain by connecting mineral producers in the north, including those in the Ring of Fire, with the manufacturing sector in the south. The modifications to the Mining Act would increase certainty for business planning and generate investment in Northern Ontario to provide significant economic development opportunities for northern and Indigenous communities.
All amendments will maintain Ontario’s strong standards for environmental protection and meet the Duty to Consult with Indigenous communities. The proposed package of legislative amendments will be posted on the Environmental Registry of Ontario on March 2, 2023 and is open for public comment until April 16, 2023.
- In 2021, Ontario produced over $11.1 billion worth of minerals, accounting for 20 per cent of Canada’s total mineral production and approximately $3.1 billion worth of critical minerals.
- The Ontario government released its Critical Minerals Strategy last year, a five-year plan that includes addressing regulatory challenges to get mines built more efficiently.
- Ontario’s Ring of Fire region is one of the most promising mineral development opportunities in the province, with multi-generational potential for critical minerals production including chromite, nickel, copper and platinum needed for clean steal and electric vehicle manufacturing.
- Minerals mined and processed in Ontario support strategic sectors including auto manufacturing, telecommunications and national defence.
MPP John Jordan Lanark-Frontenac-Kingston