Mining Act Modernization


The third phase of the Ontario government’s Mining Act modernization (MAM) process has two main components:

  1. Moving Ontario’s mining lands administration systems from ground staking and paper map staking to online registration of mining claims; and
  2. Creating an online Mining Land Administration System (MLAS) that would enhance client access to Ontario’s mining lands data and improve their ability to manage their files online.

MAM Phase III Implementation

Phase III implementation would require technical amendments to the Mining Act, implementation of a new online Mining Lands Administration System, as well as a comprehensive process that would allow for as seamless and effective transition and conversion as possible to the new system. 

Phase III of Mining Act Modernization would be implemented in two stages, with the first coming in fall of 2016, and the second in 2017.

MAM Phase III - Stage 1

The following services would be delivered online through MLAS and available to clients and stakeholders at any time:

  • • Completing the Mining Act Awareness Program (MAAP);
  • • Obtaining or renewing a prospector’s licence;
  • • Creating and updating client profiles.

MAM Phase III - Stage 2

This stage would capture all other aspects of Phase III implementation, including integrating existing mining claims into the new system, launching the online mining claim registration process, and enabling online transaction of all mining lands administration matters. MNDM would keep clients informed as implementation processes are finalized.  

For additional information, please refer to the Glossary of Terms, Frequently Asked Questions, and Bulletins that are posted on this site.

Next steps - Pre Transition Period

The Ministry of Northern Development and Mines is currently in the pre-transition period, working on updating claim maps to more accurately reflect the location of existing mining claims.  During this time, clients are encouraged to geo-reference their existing mining claims to Ministry Geo-referencing Standards and resolve issues with the location of their mining claims by contacting the Provincial Mining Recorder.   For the convenience of clients the Ministry has uploaded a demonstration version of the proposed provincial grid for reference.

MAM Phase III – Legislation:

In order to implement Phase III of Mining Act Modernization, technical amendments to the Mining Act would be required.  The proposed amendments are contained in the Mining Amendment Act, 2015 (Bill 155), which was introduced in the Legislature on Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015.  The Bill received first reading and can be found on the Legislative Assembly website, under Current Bills.

For further information

To contact us about Mining Act Modernization Phase III, please email, or telephone 1 877-415-9845.



MAM Phase I and II

MNDM has taken a phased approach to implementing Mining Act Modernization (MAM) and the changes introduced by Bill 173. While some changes came into effect on Royal Assent, most of the changes have been brought into effect over time as the relevant regulations and policies were developed following extensive stakeholder consultation.

Phase I

Implemented in 2011:

  • • focused on private landowners: requiring notice of claim staking and, in Northern Ontario, the ability to apply to have lands withdrawn from staking, as well as less intrusive map staking of claims in Southern Ontario.

Phase II

Implemented in 2012 and 2013:

  • • focused on new requirements for exploration plans and exploration permits for early stage mineral exploration
  • • Clarified the requirements for Aboriginal consultation
  • • Provided for the withdrawal from staking of locations meeting the criteria for sites of Aboriginal cultural significance
  • • Implemented the Mining Act Awareness Program as a requirement for prospector’s licences and for those supervising early exploration projects.
Mining Act Awareness Program

Every current holder of a prospector’s licence was required to complete the program by November 1, 2014. This free online program:

• Introduces the prospector to basic information on the mining sequence, staking claims, early exploration and Aboriginal consultation requirements;
• Emphasizes changes that have been made to the regulations; and
• Reaffirms the importance of having consideration for other users of public land.

Take the MAAP

Sites of Aboriginal Cultural Significance

Since November 1, 2012, Aboriginal communities have been able to apply to have sites of Aboriginal cultural significance withdrawn to avoid potential conflict with prospectors who might stake mining claims.

Exploration Plans

Before undertaking certain early exploration activities, an exploration plan must be submitted and notification provided to any surface rights owner(s). Aboriginal communities potentially affected by activities proposed in an exploration plan are notified by the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines (MNDM) and have an opportunity to provide feedback before the proposed activities can be carried out. Since April 1, 2013 exploration plans have become mandatory for prescribed activities.

Exploration Permits

Some early exploration activities will require an exploration permit. Those activities will only be allowed to take place once the permit has been approved by MNDM. Surface rights owners must be notified when applying for a permit. Aboriginal communities potentially affected by the exploration permit activities will be consulted and have an opportunity to provide comments and feedback before a decision is made on the permit. Effective April 1, 2013 exploration permits are mandatory for prescribed activities.

Voluntary Rehabilitation

Since November 1, 2012, provisions in the Mining Act have allowed individuals or companies to apply to voluntarily rehabilitate an existing mine hazard that they did not create on Crown-held land, without becoming liable for pre-existing environmental issues on the site.

Claim Staking

Since November 1, 2012, Global Positioning System (GPS) geo-referencing data has been required on the application to record a mining claim. MNDM has provided a set of standards to which to adhere. This requirement only applies to ground staked mining claims on lands that are not surveyed into lots and concessions.

Assessment Work Credits

Assessment work is prospecting and/or exploration work (trenching, blasting, diamond drilling, geological or geophysical surveys, etc.) that a mining claim holder must do every year to keep the mining claim in good standing.

Bulk Samples

Since November 1, 2012, the process for obtaining permission to test mineral content has changed and thresholds have been set for the amount of material that will be considered a bulk sample.  A bulk sample permit and an exploration permit are now both required to extract a sample and test mineral content on a mining claim.

Closure Plans

Since November 1, 2012, the rules for Aboriginal consultation have been formalized. Aboriginal consultation is now required prior to the submission of a certified closure plan or closure plan amendment. There are also provisions for facilitation (if required) to assist with the process.