Modernizing the Mining Act

Assistance for all matters related to the Mining Lands Administration System (MLAS) is available by calling us toll-free at 1-888-415-9845 (choose the Provincial Recording Office – Option 1). This toll-free line is staffed Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. At any time, clients may leave a voice message and we will return the call in accordance with Ontario’s Quality Service Standards.

 

Introduction

Ontario has fully implemented the third phase of the Ontario government’s Modernizing the Mining Act (MAM) process. This phase:

  1. Moves Ontario’s mining lands administration systems from ground staking and paper map staking to online registration of mining claims; and
  2. Creates an online Mining Land Administration System (MLAS) that enhances client access to Ontario’s mining lands data and improves their ability to manage their files online.

On April 10, 2018, Ontario converted Ontario’s manual system of ground and paper staking, and maintaining unpatented mining claims to an online system. All active, unpatented claims were converted from their legally defined location by claim posts on the ground or by township survey to a cell-based provincial grid. Mining claims are now legally defined by their cell position on the grid and coordinate location in the MLAS Map Viewer. These changes are bringing greater accuracy and certainty to the location of mining claims, greater certainty of rights and interests, as well as flexible management of land assets.

The new MLAS Map Viewer is available here.  Only persons who have created their MLAS account by first registering via Ontario’s ONe-key portal can fully access the new system. Previous clients may also download our MLAS user guide.

MLAS Video Tutorials

A series of 11 video tutorials has been developed to help our mining lands clients navigate MLAS more effectively. These videos are posted on YouTube. You can find the complete listing on the Mining Act Policies, Standards and Directives page in the Resources section under Video Tutorials.

Minister’s Directives

Six of seven Minister’s Directives that also provide instruction on working in MLAS have also been posted to the website. For registered users of MLAS, the directives are also accessible from the “Reference Documents” link at the upper right corner of the MLAS home page.

Ontario Adjusts Administration Fees for Acquisition of Mining Lands – New and Adjusted Fees In Effect (updated April 10, 2018)

As part of Ontario’s work to modernize the Mining Act, our transition to a 24/7 Mining Lands Administration System (MLAS) and online mining claim registration requires us to adjust administrative fees related to registering new cell claims as well as other associated mining lands transactions.  New and adjusted fees were introduced on April 10th, 2018 concurrent with the launch of Stage 2 of MLAS. Key among these is the establishment of a new fee required to register cell claims in MLAS. In establishing this new registration fee, and adjusting other existing fees, the Ministry endeavoured to ensure that these are balanced and fair for all stakeholders.  ENDM is committed to ensuring mining administrative fees in Ontario are competitive with other provinces across Canada.

What Is Changing

In the new MLAS system, registering a mining claim is now completed by paying a single registration fee of $50 per cell.  Previously, registering a mining claim in Ontario included paying a recording fee, costs for acquiring claim tags, as well as costs to the individual or company to stake the claim on the ground.  In addition, 19 existing fees have been eliminated, including the fee to transfer a mining claim from one owner to another.  As of April 10, claim holders will be able to complete this transaction online at no additional cost. Several other existing fees have been adjusted to reflect the Consumer Price Index as these fees were mostly last adjusted in the early 1990s.

What Is Not Changing

A number of fees, mostly related to leases and lease acquisition, are not changing at this time but will be the subject of further discussion with industry in 2018/19. In addition, annual assessment work requirements will also remain unchanged, despite new cell sizes being 11 to 50 per cent larger than the size of traditional claim units. Assessment work requirements are $400 per cell claim and $200 per boundary claim or any claim that is encumbered. Unlike some other jurisdictions, we are not introducing any other requirement such as an annual claim renewal fee, or a graduated system for fees and assessment work.

Supporting Prospecting in Ontario

The government is committed to ensuring Ontario remains a leading jurisdiction for mineral exploration and development. MLAS levels the playing field for how mining claims are acquired and enhances Ontario’s competitiveness in the mining industry.  MLAS provides a much more equitable system for registering mining claims and enhances Ontario’s mineral development competitiveness.  That’s because MLAS has been designed so that prospectors, junior exploration companies and mining companies alike use the same process to register mining claims, each having equal access to acquiring mining lands across the province.  The new registration process is intended to strike a balance between meeting the needs of industry clients and minimizing the potential for speculative or nuisance staking.

A Strong Future for Prospecting in Ontario

Prospecting has been a key element of the mineral discovery process in Ontario for over a century and we want to ensure that prospecting continues to thrive in Ontario. We are introducing a double assessment credit for prospecting wages to make it easier for prospectors to hold claims and more attractive for companies to hire prospectors for prospecting work. We are also committed to working with the prospecting communities to develop other supportive policies and programs.

New fee structure.

Our Claim Holder’s Guide to Conversion

Our Claim Holder’s Guide can help holders of mining claims and other persons that currently manage mining claims in Ontario better understand the process of conversion, the implementation of online mining claim registration and our new 24/7 Mining Lands Administration System (MLAS). Users of this guide should have experience with existing legislation, the regulatory framework as well as principles and practices governing the management and administration of mining lands in the Province of Ontario.

Download the guide

Launching MLAS in two stages has ensured that Ontario’s mineral exploration and development industry is prepared to work within the new system. Stage 2 has captured all other aspects of Mining Act Modernization Phase III implementation, including online access to mining claim registration, submitting a plan or permit, filing and distributing assessment work, obtaining or renewing a prospector’s licence online, as well as other mining lands administration transactions.

Mining Act Modernization Regulations Available Online

All regulations that underpin legislation enabling the final phase of modernizing Ontario’s Mining Act are available on the government’s e-Laws website. They provided for the conversion of legacy mining claims, and form part of the regulatory framework for our 24/7 Mining Lands Administration System (MLAS) as well as for online mining claim registration. The regulations were finalized after engagement with industry representatives and other stakeholders including postings for public comment on the province’s regulatory and environmental registries. They include:

  1. O. Reg. 455/17 – Transition – Electronic Registration of Mining Claims
  2. O. Reg. 456/17 – General Reg. amendments
  3. O. Reg. 454/17 – Conversion of Legacy Claims Regulation
  4. O. Reg. 458/17 – Revoking Survey Reg. (Reg. 768, R.R.O. 1990)
  5. O. Reg. 457/17 – Revoking Forms Reg. (O. Reg. 44/11)
  6. O. Reg. 65/18 – New Assessment Work Regulation/Revocation of Assessment Work Regulation O. Reg. 6/96
  7. O. Reg. 66/18 - New Mining Claims Regulation / Revocation of Claim Staking and Recording Regulation O. Reg. 43/11

Pre-Conversion Period

Traditional claim staking in Ontario came to an end on January 8, 2018. During a 90-day pre-conversion period (that began January 9, 2018), claim recording activity was not permitted, nor were other transactions such as transfers and the filing of assessment work reports. This allowed for conversion -- the process of taking mining claim holders’ existing ground or map staked mining claims (legacy claims) and transforming them into one or more cell claims or boundary claims on the provincial grid – as well as for exhaustive testing of the information technology architecture that now underpins MLAS, and provided enough time to enroll and train users on the new system prior to launch.

Other Important Dates (Updated January 9, 2018):

During the pre-conversion period, we recommend you:

  • Confirm the mapped location of your mining claims (the ministry is currently reconciling claim locations based on client GPS data as well as other data sets).
  • Familiarize yourself with the recent legislative and proposed regulatory changes.
  • Review or subscribe to our update bulletins.
  • Visit CLAIMaps to generate a list of claim holdings and use our conversion demonstration tool in CLAIMaps if desired to view the potential outcomes of the conversion process.
  • Submit applications to record mining claims staked prior to January 9.

 

January 8th, 2018 – RENEWING PROSPECTOR’S LICENCES – (Updated January 19, 2018) was the last business day for renewing your prospector's licence until April 10, 2018. However, the transition regulation provides for your current licence to be automatically extended to June 9, 2018 if it expires during the pre-conversion period. Individuals who hold a prospector’s licence coming due between January 9th, 2018 and April 10th, 2018 should already have been notified of this by mail.  This notice provides instruction on how to renew your licence after April 10. If your licence is coming due during this time and you have not yet received this notification, please contact the Ministry as soon as possible at miningact@ontario.ca or by calling us at 1-888-415-9845. A valid prospector’s licence will be required to register mining claims in the new Mining Lands Administration System (MLAS).

January 9th, 2018 - Pre-Conversion Period Begins

  • During this period (formerly referred to as the staking hiatus), the Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines will continue to work on updating CLAIMaps to more accurately reflect the location of existing mining claims, designing the new system and reaching out to clients to help increase awareness.
  • Clients will be able to submit a Claim Boundary Report (CBR) for a 30-day period. A CBR is a report that may be submitted by a claim holder to group claims so they will not merge at conversion.  

January 9 to February 9, 2018 – CLAIM BOUNDARY REPORTS (CBR) - the period in which clients must submit their Claim Boundary Report if they wish to elect to prevent the merger of legacy claims. At conversion, legacy claims will automatically be converted to one of two claim types: cell claims or boundary claims. Where two or more legacy claims (held by the same claim holder) are located in a cell, the legacy claims will merge into one cell claim unless the claim holder elects to prevent merger by submitting a CBR. This is a business decision to be made by the claim holder(s). Once claims have been grouped and a CBR submitted, clients need to download and complete a confirmation form and return it to ENDM by February 23. The CBR will not be processed unless the confirmation form is received by ENDM. Only one CBR – the latest submitted – will be accepted. Updated online conversion tool instructions have been published to guide users through the process of selecting and viewing claims they might want to prevent from merging. For any other assistance in navigating this process, please do not hesitate to contact us at 1-888-415-9845 or email us at miningact@ontario.ca

February 7th, 2018 – last day to submit an application to record a ground staked mining claim.

February 7th, 2018 - Launch of Stage 1 (see above)

February 9th, 2018 - Last day for clients to file a CBR

February 23rd, 2018 - Last day for clients to submit their Claim Boundary Report confirmation forms

Once claims have been grouped and a CBR submitted, clients need to download and complete the confirmation form and return it to ENDM. The CBR will not be processed unless the form is received by ENDM. 

February 23rd, 2018 – last day to file a draft plan of survey for lease.

February 26th, 2018 - Final Determination and Delineation

The Provincial Mining Recorder will make the final determination as to the location of legacy claims and delineate them on the provincial grid. Mining claims will then be legally defined by those coordinates and not by posts on the ground or township surveys.

March 2nd, 2018 - Last business day to submit an exploration plan or exploration permit until MLAS Stage 2 is launched

April 10th, 2018 - Conversion

Conversion is the process of taking mining claim holders’ existing ground or map staked mining claims (legacy claims) and transforming them into one or more cell claims or boundary claims on the provincial grid.  As part of that process, existing mining claim locations will be delineated and legally defined by their coordinates on the map.

All legacy claims will convert at once. Legacy claims will not be cancelled but will be continued as cell claims or boundary claims that result from conversion. Dispositions (such as leases, patents, and licences of occupation) will not be converted, however, they will be viewable and certain transactions will be managed within MLAS.

When MLAS launches, 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 ENDM does not manage (e.g. parks or First Nation reserves), may not match the exact boundary locations on the ground. Read more about mapping data in our May Bulletin.

April 10th, 2018 - Stage 2 Launch

Ontario’s new Mining Lands Administration System (MLAS) is fully operational.

NOTE: All dates presented above require Cabinet approval.

MAM Update Bulletins

To receive our Modernizing the Mining Act update bulletins by email, please subscribe.

  • March 2014 - Mining Lands Administration going Digital/Engaging Industry and Aboriginal Communities
  • July 2014 – Georeference Your Claims Now
  • August 2014 – How to Keep Your Prospector’s Licence Valid
  • March 2015 - Preview Ontario’s Proposed Provincial Grid/Moving from Ground-based to Cell-based Mining Claims
  • February 2016 – Proposed Legislation Introduced
  • May 2016 - Conversion is Coming
  • August 2016 - Proposed Changes to the Assessment Work Reg.
  • September 2016 - Have You Georeferenced Your Mining Claims?
  • Special Edition - Ontario Legislature Moving Forward With Mining Act Modernization Bill
  • October 2016 - September 1, 2017 Target Deadline for Georeferencing Mining Claims
  • Special Edition - Aggregate Resources and Mining Modernization Act Called for Second Reading
  • November 2016 - Queen’s Park Debates Bill 39
  • December 2016 - Bill 39 Sent to Committee
  • January 2017 - Bill 39 Committee Hearings Scheduled
  • Special Edition - Sault Ste. Marie Mining Division Spatial Data Now Available
  • February 2017 - We Will Need Your Up-to-Date Mailing Address
  • Special PDAC Edition 2017 - See You at the 2017 PDAC Convention
  • March 2017- Bill 39 Standing Committee Review Completed
  • Special Edition - 2017 Ontario Prospectors Exploration Showcase Edition
  • April 2017- First New Proposed Regulations Posted For Public Comment on Provincial Registries
  • Special Edition - Ontario Legislature Passes Aggregate Resources and Mining Modernization Act, 2017
  • May 2017 - Building A System On Highly Accurate Spatial Data
  • Special Edition - Larder Lake Mining Division Spatial Data Now Available
  • July 6, 2017 - New Proposed Regulatory Changes Posted on Provincial Registries
  • Special Edition - Porcupine Mining Division Spatial Data Now Available
  • Special Edition - Are You Ready?
  • August 2017 - New Conversion Demonstration Tool Available in CLAIMaps
  • Special Edition - Ontario’s Spatial Data Update Completed in CLAIMaps
  • September 2017 - New Proposed Regulations Posted to Ontario Environmental and Regulatory Registries
  • October 2017 - Final Phase of Modernizing Ontario’s Mining Act to Launch in January 2018
  • December 18, 2017 - New Mining Act Modernization Regulations Available Online
  • December 19, 2017 - Be Prepared to Manage Your Mining Lands Online When MLAS Launches
  • December 20, 2017 - A Claim Boundary Report Will Allow You to Tailor Conversion of Legacy Claims
  • January 17, 2018 - Sites of Aboriginal Cultural Significance May Continue to be Withdrawn During the Pre-Conversion Period
  • January 26, 2018 - MLAS Enrolment Packages Are On the Way to Clients
  • January 31, 2018 - How Mining Claim Due Dates Will Be Impacted by Transition and Conversion
  • February 7, 2018 - Stage 1 of Ontario’s Mining Lands Administration System Launches Today at 10:00 a.m.
  • February 9, 2018 - Claim Holder’s Guide to Conversion an Important New Tool for MLAS Users
  • February 27, 2018 - MLAS Information Workshops Scheduled
  • March 2, 2018 - Preparing to Launch Stage 2 of MLAS. Ontario Moves Closer to Online Mining Claim Registration
  • March 2, 2018 - Ontario to Adjust Administration Fees for Acquisition of Mining Lands
  • March 8, 2018 - Assessment Work and Mining Claims Regulations Now Available Online
  • March 9, 2018 - IMPORTANT REMINDER MLAS Service Interruption March 15-April 9, 2018
  • March 20, 2018 - MLAS Information Sessions Coming to Dryden and Thunder Bay
  • March 28, 2018 - New Technical Standards for Reporting Assessment Work Now Available Online
  • April 4, 2018 - Information Webinar - An Opportunity to Learn About Ontario’s New Mining Lands Administration System
  • April 10, 2018 - Ontario Launches Online Mining Claims
  • October 4, 2018 - Making the Most of Ontario’s New Mining Lands Administration System (MLAS)
  • October 5, 2018 - New Instructional Resources to Help You Navigate MLAS

Aggregate Resources and Mining Modernization Act, 2017

The Aggregate Resources and Mining Modernization Act, 2017 (Bill 39) amends and modernizes both the Mining Act under the auspices of the Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines, and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry’s Aggregate Resources Act.

You may view the current version of the Mining Act.

Modernizing the Mining Act Glossary

Modernizing the Mining Act will introduce new or modified terminology and concepts related to mineral exploration and development in Ontario. We encourage our mineral exploration and development clients to become familiar with the terms listed in this MAM glossary.

Being Ready Is Your Responsibility

It is your responsibility as a claim holder to remain informed and engaged in the process in order to manage your claims and interests, know your role and obligations, and to maximize the opportunities and benefits of the new system. It is your responsibility to understand conversion and the impacts of changes contained in the legislation.

For Further Information

To contact us about Modernizing the Mining Act Phase III, please email miningact@ontario.ca, or telephone 1 888-415-9845.