Initiated in 1994, the 'One Window' process provides proponents with timely and consistent guidance for new and existing mining projects in the province. Mineral development in Nova Scotia is regulated by several government departments: Energy and Mines, Environment, Labour and Advanced Education. Therefore to simplify the review of mining projects in the province, the departments work together through the 'One Window' process with the goal of improved efficiency and reduced overlap to ensure that all significant issues are addressed in a thorough and timely manner.
The 'One Window' function is managed by a Standing Committee, consisting of representatives from Energy and Mines, Environment, Labour and Advanced Education and Aboriginal Affairs. It facilitates communication between industry proponents and government. Depending on the project, other provincial, federal and municipal government agencies are also consulted.
Proponents of a mineral development project are encouraged to contact the Chair of the 'One Window' Standing Committee to arrange an initial, informal meeting with the committee. The purpose of this meeting is for the proponent to provide an overview of a new project. The committee will then advise and assist the proponent to understand the regulatory requirements for the project to proceed. Nova Scotia Environment will also make a determination if an Environmental Assessment will be required for the proposed phases of the project. The Mineral Development and Policy Section of the Mineral Resources Branch developed a User's Guide to the 'One Window' Process to assist proponents through the process.