About Us

The Mines and Minerals Division works to support responsible land use management and mineral resource development by administration of the Mining Act, providing public geoscience information and client services.

The division has five branches:

Indigenous Consultation and Partnerships Branch

The Indigenous Consultation and Partnerships Branch supports ministry programming with respect to meeting ministry consultation obligations and facilitates relationships on behalf of the Ministry between Ontario's Aboriginal communities, Northern businesses and the mineral industry.

The ministry has introduced regulated criteria to identify lands as sites of Aboriginal cultural significance for the purposes of protection under the Mining Act, including the withdrawal of such lands from prospecting, staking, sale and lease. Read more…

Mineral Development Branch

The Mineral Development Branch (MDB) encourages, promotes and facilitates the sustained economic development of the province’s mineral resources in a manner consistent with the recognition and affirmation of existing Aboriginal and treaty rights, and strives to minimize the impact of these activities on public health and safety and the environment. MDB is composed of the following business units:

  • The Mineral Exploration & Development Section supports the exploration and development of mineral resources within the regulatory framework of the Mining Act.  Staff assist industry with early exploration, advanced exploration or new mine development projects by providing information and advice on permitting requirements, financial assurance, as well as regulating early exploration and facilitating consultation with the public and Aboriginal communities.
  • The Mine Rehabilitation Section ensures that mine sites in Ontario are closed out with sound environmental and public safety closure designs in order to limit public risk and liability. The section is responsible for functions related to mine rehabilitation and abandoned mines, including rehabilitation projects, as well as management of the Abandoned Mines Rehabilitation and Contaminated Sites Programs.
  • The Inspection and Compliance Section ensures that mineral exploration and development as well as mine hazard rehabilitation activities are carried out in accordance with the regulatory requirements of the Mining Act. The Section is responsible for conducting inspections and evaluating mine hazards to minimize the impact of mineral exploration and development activities on public health and safety and the environment.
  • The Engineering Services Unit provides support in reviewing designs for tailings dam construction and approval, waste rock and water quality, treatment system designs and operations, as well as in reviewing and providing comments on mine closure plans and monitoring reports. The unit is also responsible for on-site inspections of new tailings facilities during the construction phase, review of Dam Safety Inspections and Dam Safety Reviews and participates actively as a member of the Canadian Dam Association.

Information and Lands Branch

The Information and Lands Branch (ILB) provides lands management, geomatics, data and information management services to internal and external clients and comprises the following sections:

  • The Mining Lands Section (MLS) oversees the administration of mining on Crown mining lands in Ontario by operating the Mining Lands Administration System (MLAS) and carrying out legislative and regulatory duties related to the mining industry. This includes assessment work approvals, land disposition, the administration of mining land tax and lease rentals as well as mining lands-based mapping services. Among other services, it adjudicates and mediates disputes or concerns related to online mining claim registration and oversees prospector licensing in Ontario.
  • The Information and Digital Services Section (IDSS) manages the division’s wide-ranging data and information management, digital services and data analytics.

Ontario Geological Survey

The Ontario Geological Survey (OGS) carries out field-based investigations to define and understand geological processes and the earth resources to support mineral investment priorities and inferences about the state of the environment, natural hazards, public health and safety, and climate change adaptation. We collaborate with provincial, national and international geoscience partners to create a more robust provincial geoscientific “evidence base” to support policy and decisions on sustainable use of land, minerals, energy, groundwater, and living with environmental change.  As the steward of Ontario’s public geoscience data and information, the OGS provides public access to these information and knowledge holdings.

The OGS activities are grouped around 3 core functions, including:

  • Geological mapping and surveying
  • Geoservices based on chemical and physical analyses of inorganic geological materials; cartographic, editorial, and publication services; library services and warehouse services
  • Local area mineral investment expertise that includes inventorying and assessing Ontario’s Earth resource potential

To deliver these functions, the OGS is comprises 4 administrative units: Director’s Office, Geoservices Section (includes Geoscience Laboratories, Warehouse, Publication Services Unit), Resident Geologist Program, and the Earth Resources and Geoscience Mapping Section.

Strategic Services Branch

The Strategic Services Branch provides ongoing financial and strategic support to the Mines and Minerals Division, and is responsible for mineral sector analysis, management of geoscience data, and oversight of Ontario’s diamond industry.  The Strategic Services Branch is comprised of the following units:

  • The Mineral Sector Analysis and Diamond Unit plays a lead role in developing and advocating initiatives and policies that create an improved climate for mineral investment and collects and houses information on the province’s geological resources and the mineral sector. The Unit also oversees the legislative/regulatory framework for Ontario’s diamond industry, operates the valuation process for Ontario mined diamonds, and is responsible for Ontario’s Diamond Certificate of Origin Program.
  • The Finance and Administration Unit delivers operational and financial services to the Mines and Minerals Division, including financial forecasting, reconciliation and reporting, human resources administration, and procurement.
  • The Strategic Support Unit provides divisional support in the areas of project management, program development and evaluation, policy development, administrative coordination, and environmental assessment.