Government Accountability in Issuance of Exploration Permits
Conditions to Attach to Exploration Permits
BC Mining Issue:Apart from seeking judicial review, the public has no way of challenging the BC government’s issuance of a Free Miner Certificate or approval of a Notice of Work application for exploration activities.
Fair Mining Best Practice:Create a legal process for challenging the issuance of prospecting or exploration permits.
The public has no way of challenging or commenting on the BC government’s issuance of a Free Miner Certificate or the approval of a Notice of Work application.
As mining activities can have serious environmental and social impacts, legal processes for the challenging of permits should be created.
In Western Australia, any person can file an objection to the granting of a prospecting license.
Other conditions to attach to Exploration Permits include:
- Financial Security. Require mining companies to post security bonds so that the consequences of pollution are not borne by the public and First Nations.
BC maintains a list of known historical sites in the province. Unlike the BC mining industry, BC’s forestry industry is legally required to conduct a ground assessment in areas where there is high potential for historical sites.
- Protection of Cultural Heritage. Mandating that work must stop if a cultural site or object is discovered during exploration activities.
- Environmental Safeguards.
As mining activities can cause lasting and complex impacts on ecological health, it is essential to go beyond current environmental protection measures to protect long-term ecological health from exploration activities.