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First Nations should have mineral rights

A new study released by the Fraser Institute says Canada could improve its attractiveness for mining investment by allowing private ownership of mineral rights particularly if mineral rights were given to First Nations.

            

Senior Director Kenneth Green says mining development in Canada is fraught with uncertainty related to First Nations land claims and requirements that miners consult with First Nations.  He says the result is often endless rounds of negotiations with no end in sight.

             

Green adds providing First Nations with private ownership of mineral rights will create a framework grounded in property rights and common law would bring clarity to negotiations between First Nations and miners over project development.

             

The study notes mineral rights in Canada belong to individual provinces but can be leased to miners allowing them to develop the resource.  It found due to private ownership of mineral rights in the United States land claims disputes are less of a deterrent to mining investment.

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