VICTORIA - Mining companies will be able to apply for exploration permits online for existing mine sites, as the B.C. government cuts red tape for the booming sector.
Natural Resources Minister Steve Thomson says low-impact activities such as exploration drilling and induced polarization, which uses an electrical current to measure deposits in the ground, can now be undertaken through the website FrontCounter BC.
Mining companies will have to give the province 30 days notice of the exploration work, for the information to be referred to area First Nations.
Companies will also be able to go online to extend the timing of previously approved exploration work up to two years.
Thomson says his ministry is reducing bureaucracy so that companies can create jobs more quickly.
Last year, mining companies spent $680 million on exploration in the province, and the Liberal government has committed to opening eight new mines and expanding nine existing mines over the next two years as part of its BC Jobs Plan.
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