Because this transition represents a significant shift for affected stakeholders, the AER has developed a set of Frequently Asked Questions to help answer anticipated questions.
Question: What is the Mines and Minerals Act?
Answer: The Mines and Minerals Act governs the management and disposition of rights for Crown-owned mines and minerals, including the levying and collecting of bonuses, rental, and royalties. The act is jointly administered by Alberta Energy and Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development.
Question: What is Part 8 of the Mines and Minerals Act?
Answer: Part 8 of the Mines and Minerals Act specifically relates to the exploration for mines and minerals in Alberta. Exploration for subsurface minerals, including petroleum, natural gas, and other minerals, is regulated under part 8 of the Mines and Minerals Act (MMA). Part 8 of the act focuses on geophysical exploration on both public and private lands. Under the Responsible Energy Development Act, jurisdiction for this part of the act has shifted to the Alberta Energy Regulator from Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development.
Questions: What is changing as Part 8 of the Mines and Minerals Act moves over to the AER?
Answer: The legislation—part 8 of the act—remains intact as it moves to the Alberta Energy Regulator. Where applicants go to apply and who issues the approvals will change from Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development to the Alberta Energy Regulator.
Question: What if I submitted my application before November 30?
Answer: Your application will be maintained during the transition from ESRD to the AER. The AER is committed to making the transition of this work as seamless as possible. To this end, applications, letters of clearance, final plans, and all other exploration-related work submitted to ESRD before November 30, 2013, will continue to completion with the AER. Do not resubmit work already received by ESRD; that would lead to problems that may delay your application.
Question: Where will I submit my application?
Answer: Apply directly to the AER, but be aware that mailing and e-mail addresses for all exploration submissions have changed. Information about the submission process, including submission addresses for exploration programs, can be found in the exploration directives and related forms, which can be viewed or downloaded from www.aer.ca. The process itself, in terms of forms and fees, will not be significantly different from the previous process. Over time, the AER will assess the program to seek effective methods to reduce duplication and improve processing approaches and timelines.
Over time, the AER will look for efficiencies to ensure that the process is as streamlined as possible.
Question: Who will issue the approval?
Answer: The AER will issue the approval.
Question: Who should I contact if I have questions?
Answer: If you have questions about the transition of part 8 of the Mines and Minerals Act to the AER, please call 1-800-297-8311; you can also e-mail email@example.com
Question: When does the transition take place?
Answer: The AER officially assumed jurisdiction over part 8 of the Mines and Minerals Act November 30, 2013.
Question: I’m used to contacting and dealing with the same person all the time; will it be the same now?
Answer: The number of regional offices and the staff who will be in those offices is still being determined. We assure you that AER staff are available to we will have staff in place to consult with and to answer your questions.
Question: Are the fees and deposits changing?
Answer: No, the fees and deposit amounts for exploration activity are not changing. However, unlike the process with ESRD, the AER requires two separate cheques attached to an application for a licence or permit (one for the exploration licence application fee and one for the exploration licence deposit). The security deposit must not be combined with any other payment required by the AER.
Additional information on fees and deposits can be found in the exploration directives on our website www.aer.ca
Question: How will the pre-application consultation and temporary field authorization processes work with the AER?
Answer: AER processes will not differ significantly from the current ESRD processes. The main difference will be the number and location of regional offices, which is still to be. We assure you that AER staff are available to answer your questions.