Natural Resources

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About the Department

The Department of Natural Resources is responsible for the stewardship and development of the province's natural resources through the Mines and Energy Branches.

Mines and Energy Branches


The mandate of the Mines and Energy Branches includes supervision, control and direction of all matters relating to promotion, exploration and development of mineral and energy resources and related industry developments including:

  • mines, minerals, quarries, and quarry materials;
  • onshore petroleum resources, and in conjunction with the federal government, offshore petroleum resources;
  • electrical generation and transmission;
  • overall responsibility for provincial energy supply and demand;
  • development, monitoring, supervision, assistance or other government intervention into any of the industries as described above;
  • petroleum royalties and associated matters, within or outside the province; and
  • identifying, assessing and monitoring industrial benefits commitments from major resource development projects.

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Core Values and Guiding Principles

The Mines and Energy Branches value an environment that facilitates a high degree of personal responsibility and initiative. Employee excellence is the key to achieve all goals as individuals and as team members. Employees are guided in their work by the following core values or guiding principles:

  • Integrity - Each individual will be honest, dependable, fair, credible and trustworthy. They will openly acknowledge mistakes, take corrective action and learn from these mistakes.
  • Respect - Each individual will provide opportunities for others to express their opinions and will consider these views in making decisions. Each individual will treat the public and other employees with courtesy and acceptance.
  • Professionalism - Each individual will demonstrate high professional standards and positive attitudes and deliver quality service in an objective, timely and responsive manner.
  • Collaboration - Each individual is open to sharing their knowledge with others and actively seeking the opinions and ideas of others to achieve the desired results.
  • Innovation - Each individual will demonstrate initiative, creativity and flexibility in responding to challenges and change.
  • Safety - Each individual views the personal safety of themselves and co-workers in the highest regard and will promote workplace safety at all times.

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Primary Clients

The Mines and Energy Branches are ultimately accountable to the residents of the province.

Other primary clients include:

  • Exploration and development companies
  • Electrical generation and supply distribution companies
  • Industrial and residential electricity customers
  • Supply and service companies in the resource and electricity sector
  • Other provincial government departments, crown corporations and agencies

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Lines of Business

  • Resource Policy

    Working closely with key stakeholders, the Mines and Energy Branches develop resource policy, and coordinate and facilitate sustainable development and management. Based on these frameworks, the Mines and Energy Branches directly and indirectly develop, monitor and/or initiate supporting regulatory and benefits optimization activities.

  • Resource Management

    In the onshore area of the province, the Mines and Energy Branches are solely responsible for ensuring industries follow appropriate resource management practices and comply with relevant regulations. The Branches facilitate well-planned, responsible resource management activities and are responsible for monitoring almost all aspects of these activities. Mineral and petroleum resource management activities also include title allocation, administration and ensuring compliance with site development and rehabilitation requirements.

    In the offshore area, the Energy Branch discharges its operational management and administration functions for offshore petroleum activity under a federal-provincial joint regime administered by the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board.

    In the electricity resource area, involvement in resource management is indirect and implemented through the Public Utilities Board and Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro.

    Through the Energy Branch, the Department is also responsible for royalty development and administration for onshore and offshore petroleum royalties.

  • Resource Exploration and Assessment

    This includes all those activities that precede resource development, including the gathering, interpretation and dissemination of Geoscience data and the provision of exploration incentives. The activities of the Mines and Energy Branches in this area are designed to support and encourage exploration, investment decisions, permitting and development opportunities.

  • Promotion and Facilitation of Resource Development

    Resource development builds on exploration and resource assessment. Resource development projects generally tend to be long term and capital intensive and as such generate significant economic and employment benefits. These projects can be important economic catalysts, particularly for rural area growth as well as industrial infrastructure and supply and service capabilities. A number of activities are specifically directed to promoting and facilitating well planned, responsible mineral and energy development and their associated business and employment opportunities.

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