Proposed changes to Ontario’s mining regulations

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The Ontario government is proposing amendments to several regulations made under the Mining Act as part of Phase II regulatory provisions being phased in to support recent amendments to the Act itself. Phase II involves the implementation of a new graduated regulatory scheme for early exploration activities, the criteria for sites of Aboriginal cultural significance, clarifying Aboriginal consultation requirements relating to closure plans, implementing voluntary rehabilitation of abandoned sites including Aboriginal consultation requirements, changes to bulk sample permits, assessment work credits and some changes to administrative processes relating to mining claims and mining land tax notices.

Here’s an overview of some of the proposed changes:

* Proposed amendments to the Mine Development and Closure Regulation: These are designed to clarify requirements for consultating First Nations with respect to closure plans for advanced exploration and mine production stage projects.

* Proposed amendments to the Assessment Work Regulation (O.Reg.6/96) would add new items that are eligible for assessment work credits, which are needed to keep mining claims in good standing.

* Also, the government is proposing to revoke certain stand-alone regulations to incorporate their provisions into an amended O.Reg.45/11. The amended general regulation would add criteria for Sites of Aboriginal Cultural Significances and designate the Mining Act Awareness Program. More here.

The proposed amendments are open for comment until May 1, 2012. More general information is available here.