Bill 70, An Act to amend the Mining Act
(Québec), passed on December 10, 2013
Bill 70,An Act to amend the Mining
Act(Québec), passed on December 10,
2013. Most of its provisions came into effect immediately upon
Royal Assent. While it was rushed through the legislative process,
it is not a major overhaul of the current mining regime. Under
Act, a mining company could make a claim, and
convert it into a mining lease upon proof of exploitable reserves.
This Bill generally adds certain requirements to the application
for conversion, most of which codify existing industry best
practices. The main changes are:
Before being granted a mining lease, mining companies must
perform and submit feasibility studies, including a scoping and
marketing study regarding the processing of ore in Québec.
The Ministry of Natural Resources may, on reasonable grounds,
require agreements to maximize economic spinoffs in Québec.
In addition, no mining leases will generally be granted before the
receipt of a certificate of authorization from Environnement
Québec and the approval of a restoration and
A committee charged with maximizing community involvement and
economic spinoffs must be put in place by the lessee within 30 days
of obtaining the mining lease. This committee must have at least
one representative of a Native community consulted by the
government as part of the project and be composed of a majority of
persons independent from the lessee.
Public consultations through the Bureau d'audiences
publiques sur l'environnement must be held for projects
with a capacity of more than 2,000 tons/day. Projects with a lower
capacity must hold public consultations locally, in accordance with
regulations that will be enacted for that purpose.
Mines that produce more than 2,000 tons/ day will need to
submit a yearly report to the Minister indicating the quantity and
value of the ore extracted over the course of the preceding
The Mining Act must be interpreted in a manner
consistent with the duty to consult First Nations communities,
without specifying the manner or weight of such consultations. A
consultation policy specific to the mining sector must be drawn up
and kept up to date by the government.
Bill 70 grants extended powers to regional county
municipalities (RCMs). Notably, RCMs may declare certain zones
incompatible or conditionally compatible with mining activities.
However, these decisions remain subject to the approval of the
Minister with respect to their conformity with the government's
The government can revoke a mining lease if the lessee violates
the Mining Tax Act, commits an offence under the
Mining Act or does not abide by the economic spinoff
Finally, Bill 70 imposes additional reporting and notice
requirements upon claim holders.
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The Government of Alberta recently announced a number of policy changes that will impact the Alberta Electricity Market, composed of its generators, transmitters, distributors, retailers, electricity consumers and wholesale electricity market.
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