Bulk Samples

The Ministry of Northern Development and Mines (MNDM) has changed the process for obtaining permission to extract bulk samples for testing under Section 52 of the Mining Act.  Effective November 1, 2012, those applying for permission to test a bulk sample for mineral content on a mining claim (proponent) will be required to follow a new process.

How will the permission to test mineral content process work?

  1. Permission to test mineral content: Proponents are still required to apply for and obtain permission to test mineral content  prior to extracting a bulk sample.  Thresholds have been established in regulation to identify what amount of material extracted constitutes a bulk sample.
  2. Permission to dispose of material: If the intention is to sell/dispose the end product after processing and testing, it is necessary to include a request for this permission as part of the bulk sample permission application.
  3. The activity undertaken to extract the bulk sample (e.g. excavating or drilling) will be subject to the Exploration Plans and Exploration Permits regulation or the Mine Development and Closure Regulation (Ontario Regulation 240/00) if it meets the threshold for advanced exploration.

What You Need to Know

  • Proponents must apply for a bulk sample permission using the approved application form, and if they intend to sell the end product of the bulk sample, they must request permission for this in their bulk sample application.
  • The threshold for a bulk sample for most material is 100 tonnes, below which no Section 52 permission is required. For semi-precious, lapidary or precious stones (except diamonds) the bulk sample threshold is greater than 100 kilograms.
  • If the bulk sample exceeds 1000 tonnes, the activity is considered to be advanced exploration and this requires a closure plan under Part VII of the Mining Act.
  • Proponents must comply with the Exploration Plan and Exploration Permit Regulation  with respect to the activity of extracting the sample, in addition to the Bulk Sample Permission. A plan is required if material extracted is greater than 1m3 and a permit is required if the material extracted is greater than 3m3  but less than 1000 tonnes.
  • Once sampling and testing are complete, a certified report that outlines the material extracted, tests carried and the associated cost for the work must be submitted to MNDM.
  • MNDM’s bulk sample permission is subject to the Environmental Assessment Act and will be screened and evaluated through MNDM’s environmental assessment process. 

Bulk Samples FAQ

When do the changes to the regulations regarding bulk samples come into effect?

The changes to regulations regarding bulk samples will be effective November 1, 2012 for bulk samples taken from mining claims. 

How do the changes to the regulations affect bulk samples?

Effective 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. The activity of extracting the sample will be subject to the Exploration Plans and Exploration Permits Regulation.

Do I need an exploration plan or permit before I submit an application for bulk sample permission?

No, but you must comply with the Exploration Plans and Exploration Permits Regulation and, if applicable, the Advanced Exploration Closure Plan requirements in Part VII of the Act,  prior to extracting the bulk sample from unpatented mining in addition to the Bulk Sample Permission.

Have the threshold amounts for bulk samples changed?

There are now new thresholds. For most commodities, permission is required for extracting material from an unpatented mining claim when the sample is to be greater than a 100 tonnes. If the commodity is semi-precious or lapidary stones, or precious stones (not including diamonds) permission is required when the sample extracted is greater than 100 kilograms.  All bulk samples greater than 1000 tonnes also require an Advanced Exploration Closure Plan under Part VII of the Mining Act.

Can a bulk sample permission on unpatented mining claims be extended?

Yes but only if the extension is applied for at least 10 days prior to the expiry of the permission.

Can a bulk sample permission be amended?

No, a new permission is required.

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