Measures like tax shifting provide incentives for practices like product substitution and disincentives for poor environmental performance. Subsidies make mining profitable, but do not consider environmental costs.
Canada offers mining rights for small sums of money and often provides additional subsidies. Eliminating these handouts and charging more for mining rights would be beneficial to the environment and add public income that could be directed toward developing more sustainable materials paths.
Several articles and papers on these topics are listed below:
The paper Understanding Mining Taxation in Canada by Joan Kuyek is available at this Mining Watch Canada page. Here is an excerpt from this paper:
There is an obvious need to rethink the system of taxation that has evolved for mining in Canada. The subsidies, incentives and tax planning rules result in most companies paying little or no tax and do not serve the Canadian public well. Special subsidies for mining exploration should be ended and the public resources transferred to community re-investment strategies, abandoned mine reclamation, and metal conservation and recycling research and development.