Mines could be up and running quicker, pending approval of changes to the Mining Act.

Legislation, if approved, would speed up that approval process.

Mines Minister George Pirie says Ontario needs those mines operational, given the high demand, especially for critical minerals important to the electric vehicle industry.

“We cannot take 15 years to permit a mine. That is just not acceptable. If we’re going to secure a supply chain associated with critical minerals, we’ve got to get these mines built quicker,” says Pirie.

Pirie says the changes do not eliminate the Environmental Impact Assessment process.

“Ontario’s got world-class environmental permitting regulations in place right now, and none of this will affect that,” states Pirie.

It also doesn’t change how mining companies discuss projects with First Nations.

“The first part of the critical mineral strategy was exploration. I think we spent about $20 million on a junior exploration program that was followed up by a $5 million program with Critical Minerals Innovation Fund. And the third part now is making the mines and improving the Mining Act to ensure that we can permit these things quicker when they’re ready to go.”