Mining Association of Canada | 2023 Report

The Mining Association of Canada | The Canadian Mining Story: Economic Impacts and Drivers for the Global Energy Transition 2023 53 44 IEA, Global average lead times from discovery to production, 2010-2019, IEA, Paris LOOKING FORWARD The economy of the future needs minerals and metals from Canada. To provide the resources that are required, Canada must create an investment and regulatory environment that works. Given the increasing demand for critical minerals for global carbon reduction, it will be critical to bring new mines into production the years ahead. Based on an analysis of 35 mining projects that came online between 2010 and 2019, the IEA estimates that the average time between discovery and production is almost 17 years44. To achieve climate goals for 2040 and beyond, it is important to bring production online faster. The World Bank estimates that the production of minerals, such as graphite, lithium and cobalt, could increase by nearly 500% by 2050, to meet the growing demand for clean energy technologies and forecasts a doubling of global nickel production between now and 2050. For Canada to maintain its current global market share in this scenario, seven new nickel mines will need to be discovered, permitted, and built, in addition to two new smelters and one new refinery. Previously, it took thirteen years from discovery to production for Canada’s most recent nickel mine in Voisey’s Bay. Greater efficiency in getting mines into production is needed in order to supply global demand for minerals and metals and meet shared climate change goals. Impact Assessment The time between when a mining project is proposed and when construction can begin is dictated by the sum of all the federal and provincial approval processes it must navigate. Delays can be reduced through improved coordination between federal and provincial processes and avoiding unnecessary duplication. Mining projects are subject to comprehensive provincial regulatory frameworks that are unique to each province, including environmental assessment processes, environmental protection regulations, permits of general application and regulations, and permits specific to mining. They are also subject to several federal requirements. Limited coherence and coordination, as well as conflicting requirements, between the different levels of government are an ongoing issue leading to uncertainty and increased costs for the mining industry. Coordination within the federal government between federal assessment and other federal approvals can also make a difference. By integrating the information gathering and Indigenous consultation required by other federal approvals into the impact assessment, the post-assessment approval timeline can be materially reduced. In Canada, the federal government does not have jurisdiction over mining on provincial crown land and does not have a dedicated regulator for mines. However, most new mining projects and major expansions are subject to the federal Impact Assessment Act (IAA).