Any exploration or mining company wishing to explore or exploit mineral resources in Ontario must follow the Provincial Standards for Early Exploration. These standards are in place to protect both the environment and the public, and failure to adhere to them can result in hefty fines. The standards consist of three parts:
- The community relations plan
- The health and safety plan
- The exploration plan
The community relations plan outlines how the company will consult with local communities and Indigenous Peoples and how it will mitigate any adverse impacts of its activities. The health and safety plan outlines the measures that will be taken to protect workers and members of the public from accidents and exposure to hazardous materials.
Finally, the exploration plan outlines the proposed work program, including the location of drilling sites and other activities. By following these Provincial Standards, companies can ensure that their exploration activities are carried out safely and responsibly.
- Rules for carrying out exploration plan activities
- Rules for carrying out exploration permit activities
- Rules for rehabilitation of exploration plan and exploration permit activities
In Canada, all provinces have their own legislation regulating different natural resources. In Ontario, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) is responsible for managing the province's Crown land and water resources, while the Ministry of Transportation (MTO) oversees the provincial highway system.
Both ministries require various levels of permitting for activities that could potentially impact the environment, such as the construction of roads or water crossings, or the extraction of aggregates. The types of permits required can vary depending on the project but may include Working on Crown Land, Access & Roads, Timber Cutting, Environmental Guidelines for Exploration, Working in or Near Water, and Drilling.
Obtaining the necessary permits before beginning any work is critical to ensuring compliance with Canada's environmental regulations and avoiding potential penalties. For more information on the permitting process in Ontario, please contact the MNRF or MTO directly.