The Permitting Paradigm

CIM Montreal 2015
Anna Lippa (SNC-Lavalin)
The regulatory approval process presents significant risks to mines under development. These can include costly delays in construction awaiting permit approvals or shutdowns by regulatory authorities in the event of non-compliances. In addition to fines and legal costs, non-compliances damage the trust of regulators and the public, and adversely affect a project’s social license to operate. Mega projects, due to their size and complexity in scope (mine site and offsite facilities, such as ports, roads, pipelines, powerlines), can span several jurisdictions (municipalities, countries) and within each jurisdiction, can be governed under multiple regulatory agencies (municipal, provincial, federal). As the planning, development and operation of a project are governed by applicable legislation and other regulations, the approvals process is an integral part of project management, including understanding the legal and legislative framework under which the project facilities and activities are approved. The potential for non-compliances increases with multiple sub-contractors and the sometimes hundreds of conditions of approval, including event triggered, ongoing and /or seasonally sensitive conditions. For schedule driven projects, strategies are required to ensure availability of design information for timely preparation of permit applications. Tools are required to ensure accountability and eventual closeout of every condition of approval. Effective management of permitting and approvals ensures transparency and accountability while avoiding the pitfalls of non-compliances.

Keywords: Permitting, Conditions of Approval, Regulatory Compliance, Regulatory Approvals
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