The Mining Sequence
Mining is the process of extracting valuable minerals or other geological materials from the earth.
Mining involves a number of stages which occur in a sequence. This sequence of stages is known as the mining sequence. The mining sequence covers all aspects of mining, including: prospecting for ore bodies, analysis of the profit potential of a proposed mine, extraction of the desired materials and, once a mine is closed, the restoration of all lands used for mining to their original state.
The mining sequence is divided into six stages. Each stage represents a certain period in the life of a mineral deposit. The stages, ordered chronologically from earliest and following the order in which they occur, include:
- Consultation - communicate all actions and intentions with those who will be affected by mining sequence activities
- Exploration - gather data about potential mineral deposits and acquire the rights to harvest those mineral deposits
- Evaluation - determine which mineral deposit has the most profit potential
- Development - construction of a mine or mines
- Production - operation of the mine or mines
- Closure - demolition of the mine or mines and rehabilitation of all lands used for mining
The Mining Act and accompanying regulations legislate mining in Ontario. The purpose of this legislation is to encourage prospecting, staking and exploration for the development of mineral resources, in a manner consistent with the recognition and affirmation of existing Aboriginal and treaty rights in section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982, including the duty to consult, and to minimize the impact of these activities on public health and safety and the environment. Information about this legislation, including what it entails and how to comply with it, can be found throughout the mining sequence.
The Mines and Minerals Division employs a number of mineral exploration and development consultants who are available to discuss the details of a mineral development project and to provide guidance and oversight. To get in touch with a consultant, contact the Mineral Exploration and Development Section or one of their local offices.
A number of resources are also available to help properly plan and implement a mineral development project through all stages of the mining sequence. These resources includes:
- A Practitioner's Guide - provides a reference for planning and implementing a mineral development project through all stages of the mineral development process
- 'One Window' Coordination Process - provides an overview of legislation and regulations, including environmental assessments and details on how to work with the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines to co-ordinate with other regulators