MAM Update - January 17, 2018

Mines and Minerals Division: 

Sites of Aboriginal Cultural Significance May Continue to be Withdrawn During the Pre-Conversion Period

With the 90-day pre-conversion period now in effect, no new mining claim can be registered in Ontario until online claim registration launches April 10, 2018, as part of Stage 2 of implementing the Mining Lands Administration System (MLAS). 

The SOACS Process Will Continue During the Pre-Conversion Period

Some Indigenous communities with an interest in mining lands management have asked us how the pre-conversion period would impact the Sites of Aboriginal Cultural Significance (SOACS) withdrawal process.

Introduced in 2012 as part of Phase 2 of Ontario’s work to modernize the Mining Act, the SOACS withdrawal process enables Indigenous communities to apply to have a site of Aboriginal cultural significance to be withdrawn so mining claims could not be staked (and, after April 10, electronically registered) on that land. Under this regulation and policy, the withdrawals are intended to be smaller sites that can be easily identified on a map.  Withdrawals will typically be done in four-, nine-, 16- or 25- hectare increments. The ministry’s Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation Branch will work with the applicant community to determine the size of withdrawal most appropriate to address the nature of the site.

While no new claim in Ontario can be registered until April 10, 2018, the SOACS process will continue during the pre-conversion period. 

MNDM encourages communities to continue to apply for site withdrawals at their earliest opportunity. The ministry wants to ensure that lands identified by Indigenous communities as sites that might meet the prescribed criteria as a site of Aboriginal cultural significance are given due consideration to avoid or minimize disputes and help build relationships among communities, the ministry and industry proponents. This can best be achieved by early identification of lands so that they can be withdrawn from prospecting, staking/registration, sale or lease.

Applications submitted to the Provincial Recording Office that meet criteria and are approved during the pre-conversion period will be processed and new withdrawals will be published on CLAIMaps.  That information will be available in MLAS in the future.

The ministry continues to engage with, and prepare Indigenous communities for the implementation of Phase 3. A series of instructional workshops are being scheduled for the coming weeks and communities are being contacted.

For more information visit us at our Modernizing the Mining Act website or call us at 1-888-415-9845.