Fraser Institute News Release: Transparency and confidence waning in Canada’s mining exploration permit process

Investors are losing confidence in the mineral exploration permit process in many Canadian provinces, with applications taking longer to be approved and a lack of transparency, according to a new study released today by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian policy think-tank.

“An increasingly opaque and confusing application process for companies to explore for mineral deposits deters investment and ultimately hinders Canada’s ability to realize its considerable resource potential,” said Kenneth Green, Fraser Institute resident scholar and co-author of Permit Times for Mining Exploration in 2017.

Based on the Fraser Institute’s Mining Survey results, the study finds that in many Canadian jurisdictions, the exploration permit process has grown longer over the past 10 years and less transparent.

In fact, 50 per cent of respondents indicated a lack of transparency in Ontario deters investment, followed by 48 per cent of respondents in B.C. and 40 per cent in Quebec.

Crucially, the permit process is more transparent in other jurisdictions around the world—only 17 per cent of respondents indicated a lack of transparency deterred investment in Finland and just nine per cent in Sweden and Western Australia.

“Attracting scarce investment dollars requires sound, clear policies and predictable timelines, and investors have said loud and clear that Canada is lagging on this front,” said Ashley Stedman, a senior policy analyst with the Fraser Institute and study co-author.

“Ultimately, uncompetitive mining policies send valuable investment dollars—and the jobs and prosperity they create—elsewhere,” Green said.

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