Should the proposed Mineral Resources Act pass in a vote in the Legislative Assembly, there are still several steps to take before it will be brought into force as law.
Bringing legislation into force can sometimes take several years. For example, Ontario’s newest mining legislation took roughly 10 years to come into full effect after passage.
Below is a brief description of major implementation steps and targeted timeframes.
Target Implementation Timeline for the Mineral Resources Act
The GNWT will need to develop some regulations before the Mineral Resources Act can be brought into force. Some examples are:
- Requirements for proposals for restricted areas and resulting engagement;
- Requirements for proposals for incentive zones and resulting engagement;
- Required detail and frequency of reporting under statistical and royalty returns and other disclosure;
- How public notice is provided to Indigenous governments and organizations where required;
- How and when to file notices of intended work;
- Training requirements for the issuance of mineral interests;
- Threshold for requiring benefits agreements and what qualifies for inclusion;
- How to acquire and maintain a Production Licence.
It is important to note that regulations do not get introduced in the Legislative Assembly like legislation does. However, throughout this period, the Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment will work closely with Indigenous governments, subject matter experts, and key stakeholders as it develops the regulations.
In addition to developing regulations, there are many tasks that will need to take place behind-the-scenes to actually make the Act and its regulations work.
Staffing and training for GNWT employees and external stakeholders regarding new or modified functions, forms of administration and workflows will be important to ensure a smooth transition to the new regulatory regime. This could include designing new training courses for stakeholders, staffing new inspectors, and providing training for new enforcement requirements.
Online Map Staking
The transition to online map staking will represent an important step in modernizing mineral tenure processes in the NWT. Several steps need to be taken to allow for the adoption of this new system and
modifications to existing systems and tools will require considerable time and resources. This will include the selecting or building new software, updating existing online systems and tools, developing new forms and procedures, and communicating with clients.
Formal establishment of boards intended to support the implementation of the Act will require the development of the related powers of these boards and finding and appointing qualified members.
Ensuring public awareness of the changes to mining operations enabled by the new MRA will support a smooth transition for all stakeholders. Completion of a communications plan for implementation will help guide ITI’s efforts.
Use of media could include:
- Development of a page on ITI’s website outlining major changes of the new legislation
- Advisories for industry and Indigenous groups
- Social media advertisements
- Print advertisements
- Radio announcements