Leases

A mining claim grants its owner the exclusive rights to explore for minerals on a designated piece of land. The owner of a mining claim is not granted title or ownership to the land and cannot extract or sell any resources removed from the land. The owner of a claim must also perform yearly assessment work.

A mining claim can be converted into a lease. A lease grants its owner title and ownership to the land, permits the extracting and sale of extracted resources and removes the requirement to perform yearly assessment work. To maintain a lease, rent must be paid annually. A lease expires every 21 years unless it is renewed.

Converting a Mining Claim Into a Lease

To convert a mining claim into a lease a letter of intent must be submitted to the Provincial Recording Office's Technical Services Unit anytime after assessment work has been performed on the land and the work has been submitted and approved.

After submitting the letter of intent, the land covered by the mining claim must be surveyed and the surface rights to the land must be acquired.

Acquiring Mining and Surface Rights

During the lease application process, the mining claim holder is granted the mining rights to all land located within the claim. However, before the application can be completed, the claim holder must acquire the surface rights to the land or reach an agreement with the surface rights owner to utilize the land. The process of acquiring surface rights depends on the owner of the rights:

  • If the surface rights are owned by the claim holder then no action is required.
  • If the surface rights are owned by the crown then the ownship of the surface rights will be granted to the claim holder during the lease application process.
  • If the surface rights are privately owned by an individual or company then an agreement to allow the claim holder to use the land must be made with the surface rights holder. The agreement should outline the compensation given if the land covered by the surface rights sustains any damages.

Applying for a Lease

After the land has been surveyed and the surface rights to the land have been acquired, an application must be submitted to the Provincial Recording Office's Technical Services Unit.

The application must include:

  • The survey of the land
  • An agreement with the surface rights owner or an order of the Mining Lands Commissioner indicating that surface rights compensation, if any, has been paid, secured or settled
  • The required fees including the first years rent

Resources

For more information on leases, contact the Provincial Recording Office Technical Services Unit.