What is this engagement about?
Historically, water use for prospecting did not require an authorization and over time mineral exploration and small scale placer mining were considered prospecting. This changed in 2016 with the narrow definition of prospecting under the Water Sustainability Act (WSA), and individuals undertaking these activities became subject to the requirement to obtain an authorization to use water.
In light of existing permitting requirements under the Mines Act¸ temporary rules were enacted to allow the use of unrecorded (available) water for mineral exploration and small scale placer mining activities without a WSA authorization, subject to new restrictions to protect the environment.
Government is now proposing to make those temporary provisions a permanent part of the regulations, and released an intentions paper for public comment which closed on November 26, 2018. Read the comments on the blog post.
How can my contribution make a difference?
Pending a public consultation period and government review and approval, the proposed provisions would be incorporated into regulation later this year.
Details of the Consultation:
Date: October 9 to November 26, 2018