Voluntary Rehabilitation

The Ministry of Northern Development and Mines (MNDM) has introduced changes to Ontario Regulation 240/00 to put into effect a provision in the Mining Act that allows people to voluntarily rehabilitate an existing mine hazard. 

Effective November 1, 2012

The voluntary rehabilitation provisions will be implemented so that an individual or company not responsible for creating the mine hazard may apply to undertake mine hazard rehabilitation work without becoming liable for pre-existing environmental issues on the site.

Eligible lands for Voluntary Rehabilitation:

  • Crown Land (as defined in the Mining Act).
  • Land used or occupied by the Crown or an Ontario Ministry.
  • Lands designated for public purpose.
  • Land held by an Ontario Ministry.

How will the Voluntary Rehabilitation process work?

  1. Application: Anyone wishing to undertake rehabilitation work must complete a Voluntary Rehabilitation Application form.
  2. Notification of surface rights owners and mining claim holders: A copy of the completed application must be sent by applicants to those whose property is within the area they wish to rehabilitate.
  3. Aboriginal consultation:  Voluntary rehabilitation applicants are encouraged to consult Aboriginal communities, as identified by MNDM, early in the process.  If consultation occurs before the application is submitted, an Aboriginal consultation report should be included with the application.
  4. Review of application: Applications are to be sent to the Director of Mine Rehabilitation for review.  If approved, the Director may set conditions that must be met by the applicant.
  5. The Mine Rehabilitation Code of Ontario: Once approved, applicants shall carry out voluntary rehabilitation according to their approved rehabilitation plan, in accordance with the standards in the Mine Rehabilitation Code of Ontario as specified by the Director.

Voluntary Rehabilitation FAQ

When does the regulation implementing Voluntary Rehabilitation come into effect?

Effective November 1, 2012 provisions will be implemented to allow 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.

Are there fees associated with Voluntary Rehabilitation?

No, there are no fees associated with applying to perform Voluntary Rehabilitation.

How do I find out if there are surface rights owners for the property I wish to rehabilitate and if there are, how do I find out who they are in order to contact them?

The surface rights owner(s) of property can be identified by performing a title search at a Land Registry Office.

If I wish to consult with Aboriginal communities, how do I find out which Aboriginal communities I must consult?

Contact a Mineral Exploration and Development Consultant at an MNDM office in Sudbury, Thunder Bay or Timmins,  and they will identify which Aboriginal communities you must consult. 

Can my organization get a list of old sites in need of rehabilitation?

Yes.  MNDM maintains the Abandoned Mines Information System (AMIS) , which   includes information on abandoned and inactive mines throughout Ontario, as well as associated mine hazards. Basic information about every known abandoned and inactive mine in Ontario is in the database, including mine name, location and the period when it was in operation.  Contact the Abandoned Mines Rehabilitation Program staff at MNDM to request AMIS information.

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