On May 29, 2013, Bill 43, entitled the Mining Act (“Bill 43”), was introduced in the Quebec National Assembly by the Minister of Natural Resources, Martine Ouellet.

Readers may remember the attempts made by the previous Liberal government to amend the current Quebec Mining Act (R.S.Q., c. M-13.1) (the “Act”) through Bill 79 introduced in December 2009 and Bill 14 introduced in May 2011 (“Bill 14”), both of which died on the order paper.

Bill 43 represents the current provincial government’s attempt to revise Quebec’s mining regime while maintaining several provisions of the Act, often without modifications. We additionally note that amongst the amendments proposed by Bill 43, some are taken from Bill 14.

The following is a brief, non-exhaustive, overview of some of the amendments proposed by Bill 43.

Increased Role of Municipal Authorities

Through amendments to the Act respecting land use planning and development (Quebec), Bill 43 would allow regional county municipalities to identify in their land use plans certain territories that would be incompatible, or compatible on certain conditions to be set by the Minister of National Resources (“MNR”), with mining activities, subject to a certain governmental control by, in particular, the MNR.

Once such a territory is identified and made public in the prescribed manner, prospecting, mining exploration and mining operations regarding mineral substances forming part of the domain of the State and found therein would be prohibited in the case of a mining incompatible territory, whereas such substances in a conditionally mining compatible territory would be reserved to the State.

Bill 43 also provides that claim holders would be required to notify any concerned municipality (and landowner) that such right has been obtained and inform the municipality at least 90 days in advance of the work that will be carried out.

Source: Fasken Martineau ; See full article