About Us

The Mines and Minerals Division works to support responsible land use management and mineral resource development by administration of the Mining Act, providing public geoscience information and client services.

The division has five branches:

Indigenous Consultation and Partnerships Branch

The Indigenous Consultation and Partnerships Branch supports ministry programming with respect to meeting ministry consultation obligations and facilitates relationships on behalf of the Ministry between Ontario's Aboriginal communities, Northern businesses and the mineral industry.

The ministry has introduced regulated criteria to identify lands as sites of Aboriginal cultural significance for the purposes of protection under the Mining Act, including the withdrawal of such lands from prospecting, staking, sale and lease. Read more…

Modernization of the Mining Act

The Mining Act Modernization team is responsible for coordinating the modernization process and ensuring that all regulations, policies, business processes and information technology systems are consistent with the amendments to the Mining Act. Read more…

Mineral Development and Lands Branch

The Mineral Development and Lands Branch (MDLB) encourages, promotes and facilitates the sustained economic development of the province’s mineral resources in an environmentally responsible manner and provides orderly and equitable processes ensuring public access to Crown Mineral rights. MDLB is comprised of the following business units:

The Mining Lands Section is mandated to provide orderly and equitable processes that ensure public access to Crown mineral rights for the exploration and potential development of mining lands, including:

  • The Claims Adjudication Unit is responsible for the adjudication and mediation of disputes or concerns related to online mining claim registration, the technical responsibilities associated with Appeals and Commissioner's Order and the recording of encumbrances on unpatented claims.
  • The Operations Unit is responsible for the maintenance and management of Crown Lands for mining purposes and administration of unpatented mining claims in the province, facilitating or enabling the licencing of prospectors, acquisition of crown lands for mineral exploration and the maintenance of land including the filing of all legal registrations including geoscience assessment.
  • The Technical Services Unit administers the orderly disposal of Crown Land for mining purposes, administers Land tenure records, provides the administration of mining lands taxes, rentals, and salt royalties and provides technical services related to land tenure and land management for the Province.

The Mineral Exploration & Development Section supports the exploration and development of mineral resources within the regulatory framework of the Mining Act.  Staff assist industry with their exploration, advanced exploration or new mine development projects by providing information and advice on permitting requirements, regulating early exploration and facilitating consultation with the public and Aboriginal communities.

The Rehabilitation and Compliance Section ensures that early exploration activities are carried out in accordance with the regulatory requirements and that mine sites in Ontario are closed out in a manner consistent with sound environmental and public safety closure designs and to limit accrual of public risk and liability.  The Section is responsible for inspections and compliance activities, as well as functions related to mine rehabilitation, financial assurance, abandoned mines, including management of the Abandoned Mines Rehabilitation Program.

The Strategic Support Unit provides ongoing support in areas of project management, program evaluation, administrative coordination, etc., and is leading the development of a Class Environmental Assessment for the Mines and Minerals Division.

Ontario Geological Survey

The Ontario Geological Survey (OGS) carries out field-based investigations to define and understand geological processes and the earth resources to support mineral investment priorities and inferences about the state of the environment, natural hazards, public health and safety, and climate change adaptation. We collaborate with provincial, national and international geoscience partners to create a more robust provincial geoscientific “evidence base” to support policy and decisions on sustainable use of land, minerals, energy, groundwater, and living with environmental change.  As the steward of Ontario’s public geoscience data and information, the OGS provides public access to these information and knowledge holdings.

The OGS activities are grouped around 3 core functions, including:

  • Geological mapping and surveying
  • Geoservices based on chemical and physical analyses of inorganic geological materials; cartographic, editorial, and publication services; library services and warehouse services
  • Local area mineral investment expertise that includes inventorying and assessing Ontario’s Earth resource potential

To deliver these functions, the OGS is comprises 4 administrative units: Director’s Office, Geoservices Section (includes Geoscience Laboratories, Warehouse, Publication Services Unit), Resident Geologist Program, and the Earth Resources and Geoscience Mapping Section.

Strategic Services Branch

The Strategic Services Branch provides ongoing financial and strategic support to the Mines and Minerals Division, and is responsible for mineral sector analysis, management of geoscience data, and oversight of Ontario’s diamond industry.  The Strategic Services Branch is comprised of the following units:

  • The Mineral Sector Analysis and Diamond Unit plays a lead role in developing and advocating initiatives and policies that create an improved climate for mineral investment and collects and houses information on the province’s geological resources and the mineral sector. The Unit also oversees the legislative/regulatory framework for Ontario’s diamond industry, operates the valuation process for Ontario mined diamonds, and is responsible for Ontario’s Diamond Certificate of Origin Program.
  • The Finance and Administration Unit delivers operational and financial services to the Mines and Minerals Division, including financial forecasting, reconciliation and reporting, human resources administration, and procurement.
  • The Strategic Support Unit provides divisional support in the areas of project management, program development and evaluation, policy development, administrative coordination, and environmental assessment.