2 Resource Project Trends to Embrace and 1 to Leave Behind in 2024

In our quest to achieve net zero goals, ensure energy security, and increase supply chain resilience, the need to accelerate energy and resource projects is more important than ever. Over the past year, Canada saw some positive strides and promising project advancements. However, there is still ample room for improvement – particularly when it comes to regulatory evaluations and delays.

As we close out the year, we delve into two trends we should continue to embrace and one we should leave behind.

The Two Trends to Embrace

1.     Meaningful Consultation ThroughoutProject Development

For decades, project proponents have navigated stakeholder and rightsholder consultations as a regulatory formality rather than an opportunity for meaningful engagement. However, an improved approach is happening in many cases, with project developers increasingly recognizing the importance of authentic relationships. When consultation goes beyond merely "ticking the regulatory boxes," the emphasis is shifting towards forging win-win partnerships and setting the stage for long-term success.

A standout example from last year is the Shared Prosperity Agreement between the English River First Nation and Denison Mines. This agreement shows the power of collaboration, requiring genuine intentions from all stakeholders and significant investments to build trust and align on a shared vision. As we step into 2024, let's hope to see more of these win-win agreements across different industries and stakeholder groups.

2.     Government Support Programs

Government support, operating at various levels and tailored to specific industries, plays a pivotal role in driving project success. This year, we saw further evidence that different areas of the government have opportunities to improve when it comes to policy and project approvals. However, there are promising instances when it comes to effective support at the federal level and certain jurisdictions.

A positive example of federal governments support is the Critical Mineral Infrastructure Fund that was introduced this year. This initiative allows government and non-government applicants to improve the infrastructure for critical minerals development where it needs financial support.

We’ll see how well the program is delivered in the coming years, but for the moment, this initiative signifies a step in the right direction. We should encourage and build upon such support mechanisms in 2024.

The Trend We Leave Behind

3.    Regulatory Uncertainty and Delays

A glaring trend is the increased uncertainty for project developers when it comes to regulatory requirements. In particular, the renewable energy sector faced unwarranted delays in various Canadian jurisdictions. The most alarming was the 6-month moratorium on renewable electricity project approvals in Alberta, potentially jeopardizing the province's leadership role in the industry. Lengthy delays, abrupt changes, and unnecessary hurdles only serve to stifle investment and stall forward progress.


As we go into 2024, let’s aim to streamline regulatory processes, ensure transparency, and eliminate unnecessary delays. A smoother and more predictable environment for project development is not just beneficial—it's imperative for the sustainable growth of our energy and resource sectors.

On the other hand, it’s just as important to continue to conduct meaningful consultation and create win-win partnerships with communities. Let’s move projects forward the right way and build a better future by learning from what worked and what didn’t in the last year.

Matt Adams


Matt Adams is the CEO of NetBenefit Software. Based on the east coast of Canada, Matt has spent his career (and more of his social life than he’s willing to admit) in the Environmental, Health, and Safety (EHS) and Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) software space.

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