MAM Update - May 2017

Mines and Minerals Division: 

Building A System On Highly Accurate Spatial Data

Phase III of Modernizing the Mining Act will implement a new Mining Lands Administration System (MLAS), which will include the new provincial grid.  The grid will show the precise location of mining claims along with the location of newly updated spatial data. On occasion, other spatial data on our maps may not precisely correlate with actual survey evidence on the ground. While this is possible, it is not a new issue nor is it unique to our MLAS; it has been so since maps were first published. Maps represent ground surveys but may be subject to some degree of error. Ours are simply the best representation possible of available data.

Much More Accurate Than Ground-Based Data

When MLAS launches (targeted for early 2018), Ontario’s mining lands data will become the most accurate it has ever been.  For the first time the location of mining claim boundaries shown on our maps will be based on precise Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) system coordinates. However, mapping data from sources that MNDM does not manage (e.g. parks or First Nation reserves), may not match the exact boundary locations on the ground.

The new system will help to mitigate this: a cell claim, whether it is created from a converted legacy claim or consists of a new registered claim, includes  only those parts of the cell that are open for registration. A claim holder will need to be aware of where the boundary is on the ground between the part of a cell that is open for claim registration and the part that is not. 

The best way for claim holders to address discrepancies between map and field data is to, where possible, identify and document - through georeferencing or other means - the location of features that do not form part of the mining claim. In most cases, survey information or legal descriptions for these features exist and can help  determine their field location. 

The Provincial Recording Office (PRO) continually updates its maps and spatial features. We have undertaken extensive work to more accurately represent leases, patents and other spatial data by re-plotting coordinates based on the best available information.  In addition, PRO has used client-submitted GPS data to reconcile coordinates for unpatented mining claims, resulting in more accurate mining claim locations.

With Respect To Discrepancies

The new Aggregate Resources and Mining Modernization Act, 2017, provides that final determination and delineation of a legacy claim fixes the location of the claim where it is shown on the map, and this location is final (not subject to appeal).    We are confident that issues arising from boundary discrepancies will be rare. The Ministry will take a case-by-case approach where they do arise, as we do currently. We will continue to work with our other data sources to update our maps and adjust boundaries using the best available data.

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