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Province introducing legislation aimed at streamlining, regulating mineral development

The Alberta legislature on Tuesday, May 12, 2020. Emily Mertz, Global News

Alberta is introducing legislation the province says will allow it to better compete in the developing global minerals market.

The bill aims to streamline approvals and oversight for minerals and mineral products that are in increasing demand for products, including cellphones and energy storage cells for electric cars.

Energy Minister Sonya Savage says the minerals — including lithium, uranium, vanadium, potash and diamonds _ are critical to supporting clean energy technologies.

Read more: Alberta proposes set election day for last Monday in May every 4 years

The bill proposes that the Alberta Energy Regulator would oversee the development of metallic and industrial minerals.

It would also ensure that was done in an environmentally responsible way.

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Alberta’s non-energy mineral production currently comes from about 20 quarries producing salt, silica, sand and limestone.

“A full life-cycle regulator would help ensure the responsible resource management and development of the province’s mineral resources,” Savage told the house after introducing the legislation Thursday.

“It’s a necessary step because regulatory oversight is currently split among multiple entities in the province.”

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