Modernizing the Mining Act

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Mining Lands Administration System (MLAS) will be unavailable until 10 a.m. on Tuesday, April 10. Read more ...


Introduction (Updated January 9, 2018)

Implementation of the third phase of the Ontario government’s Modernizing the Mining Act (MAM) process has begun. The launch of MLAS will happen in two stages:

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

Ontario to Adjust Administration Fees for Acquisition of Mining Lands – New and Adjusted Fees Will Be In Effect April 10 (updated March 2, 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 will require us to adjust administrative fees related to registering new cell claims as well as other associated mining lands transactions.  New and adjusted fees will be 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.  MNDM is committed to ensuring mining administrative fees in Ontario are competitive with other provinces across Canada. 

What Is Changing (updated March 2, 2018)

In the new MLAS system, registering a mining claim will be 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.   Once MLAS launches on April 10, claim holders will be able to complete this transaction online by the claim holder 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 (updated March 2, 2018)

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 current claim units. Assessment work requirements will be $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 (updated March 2, 2018)

The government is committed to ensuring Ontario remains a leading jurisdiction for mineral exploration and development. The new MLAS will level the playing field for how mining claims are registered and enhance Ontario’s competitiveness in the mining industry.  MLAS will provide a much more equitable system for registering mining claims and enhance 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 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 (updated March 2, 2018)

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 will be 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.

You can view a table comparing current fees with our new fee structure.

Stage 1 of Mining Lands Administration System (MLAS) Launches Today (Updated February 7, 2018)

Stage 1 of MLAS went into service at 10 a.m. on February 7, 2018. At this time, the system is available for mining lands clients to enrol, update their client profile and explore some of the features of the system.

All holders of an active or permanent prospector’s licence as well as mining claim holders in Ontario should have received information by mail to guide them in completing their enrolment into MLAS. Call us at 1-888-415-9845 or email the Provincial Recording Office if you have not yet received your enrolment package or require assistance.

PLEASE NOTE: To access MLAS you must first create an account with Ontario’s ONe-key unique electronic credential system. You may also download our MLAS user guide.

Introducing Our Claim Holder’s Guide to Conversion (Updated February 9, 2018)

We are also pleased to provide our new Claim Holder’s Guide to 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 will ensure that Ontario’s mineral exploration and development industry is prepared to work within the new system when it fully launches April 10, 2018. Stage 2 will capture 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.

New Mining Act Modernization Regulations Available Online (Updated March 8, 2018)

All regulations that will underpin legislation enabling the final phase of modernizing Ontario’s Mining Act are now available on the government’s e-Laws website. They provide for the conversion of legacy mining claims, and form part of the regulatory framework for the implementation of our 24/7 Mining Lands Administration System (MLAS) as well as for implementation of 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 last summer. 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 Now in Effect (Updated January 9, 2018)

Traditional claim staking in Ontario came to an end on January 8, 2018. During this 90-day pre-conversion period (formerly referred to as the staking hiatus), claim recording activity will not be permitted, nor will other transactions such as transfers and the filing of assessment work reports. This will allow 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 will underpin MLAS, and provide 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 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 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 MNDM by February 23. The CBR will not be processed unless the confirmation form is received by MNDM. 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

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 MNDM. The CBR will not be processed unless the form is received by MNDM. 

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 MNDM 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

Ontario Legislature Passes Aggregate Resources and Mining Modernization Act, 2017 (May 15, 2017)

The Aggregate Resources and Mining Modernization Act, 2017 (Bill 39) was passed by the Ontario Legislature on a vote after the close of third reading debate on May 9, 2017 and received royal assent on May 10, 2017.  This legislation amends and modernizes both the Mining Act under the auspices of the Ministry of 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, showing the amendments where they will be once Bill 39 changes have been proclaimed. The parts not proclaimed will show as boxed/highlighted in grey (caution, if you download and print, the document is more than 100 pages in length).

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.

New Data Sets to CLAIMaps

We have updated all the spatial data on CLAIMaps to more accurately show the location of unpatented mining claims, leases and patents that have been georeferenced.

The information provided represents all unpatented mining claims that have gone through the georeferencing process for these divisions and demonstrates the realignment of leases and patents as well as the new lot and concession fabric.

To present this information, the Provincial Recording Office plotted the coordinates of new surveys it received onto the CLAIMaps disposition layer. The information is verified by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry and uploaded into their Land Information Ontario (LIO) database.

We then reviewed the georeferenced claims and used the best available data to adjust boundaries as needed. Clients are then able to see the accurate location of georeferenced older claims and newly recorded claims.

For assistance or more information on these new data sets please contact Léanne Messier at 1-888-415-9845 ext 5793 or email at

Conversion is Coming April 10, 2018

On April 10, Ontario will convert Ontario’s manual system of ground and paper staking, and maintaining unpatented mining claims to an online system. At conversion, ALL active, unpatented claims will be converted from their legally defined location by claim posts on the ground or by township survey to a cell-based provincial grid. Following conversion, the claims will be legally defined by their cell on the grid and coordinate location in CLAIMaps. These changes will bring greater accuracy and certainty to the location of mining claims, greater certainty of rights and interests, as well as offer flexible management of land assets.

How to View the Proposed Provincial Grid

To view the provincial mineral tenure grid proposed in Modernizing the Mining Act Phase 3 legislation, please follow these steps:

  1. Launch CLAIMaps IV
  2. Read through and accept the Disclaimer
  3. Click on the Map Information tab in the upper left hand corner
  4. Click on the Select Map Layers button in the upper left hand corner
  5. From the left navigation pane, click on the '+' symbol next to the word 'CLAIMaps'
  6. Still in the left navigation pane, click in the small box to the left of the words 'Mineral Tenure Grid'
  7. Click on the '+' symbol next to that small box to expand your viewing options for the Grid
  8. Please note that the ability to view the grid is scale sensitive.

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.

Cell and Claim Types (Post Conversion)

Legacy Claim

Legacy claims are existing mining claims under the current staking process. All active legacy claims will be automatically converted into cell based claims on a date set by the Ministry.

Claim Cell

A mining claim, other than a boundary claim, relating to all the land open for claim registration within one cell on the provincial grid.

Boundary Cell

A cell on the provincial grid, which as a result of legacy claims, contains one or more boundary claims. Below is an example of a boundary cell.
Boundary Cell

Boundary Claim

A claim created only at conversion when:

Two or more legacy claims (or parts of claims) held by different claim holders convert and are located in the same cell. The legacy claims within this cell become boundary claims and the cell becomes a boundary cell.


Two or more legacy claims (or parts of claims) with the same claim holder, convert and are located in the same cell, and the claim holder has elected prior to conversion (via a Claim Boundary Report) to prevent the automatic merger of those claims into one single cell claim. This results in separate boundary claims and the cell becomes a boundary cell.

Encumbered Cells

The cell is not fully available due to other restrictions on the land. An encumbrance on the cell can be any one of the following:

  • First Nation Reserve
  • Provincial Park
  • Mining Rights Only Leases, Surface and Mining Rights Leases
  • Mining rights Only Patents, Surface and Mining Rights

Below is an example of encumbered cells.
An image of two cells that are encumbered by a provincial park

Proposed Guidelines Affecting Assessment Work

Some of the current assessment work regulations will be changing:

  • The deadline for obtaining assessment work credit for georeferencing a mining claim staked prior to November 1, 2012 will be September 1, 2017.
  • Any claim coming due that is impacted by the pre-conversion period and within the six months after the pre-conversion period will have its due date moved forward to prevent cancellation.

The Electronic Assessment System (EAS) will be shut down prior to the pre-conversion period.  During the pre-conversion period, there will be a prohibition on (among other things):

  • filing of assessment work reports
  • distribution of assessment credits
  • applying cash-in-lieu

At conversion, any reserve or banked credit (including consultation credit) on a legacy claim will be rolled together and moved to a conversion bank and placed on a central cell derived from the legacy claim. Claimholders will be able to reallocate the reserve after conversion to any of the converted cell and boundary claims that are created from the legacy claim.

The current Assessment Work Regulation will be updated and some of the contents will be moved to a Technical Standard to allow the Ministry to respond more quickly to industry changes.

Proposed Changes to Assessment Rules - Post Conversion

After the launch of the Mining Lands Administration System (MLAS), the owner/agent/distribution manager will be able to submit assessment work through MLAS:

  • Owner(s)/agent/distribution manager will enter into MLAS and follow the submit assessment work report links to the online templates and forms.
  • Assessment work transactions will be completed on-line and paper copies of work reports and forms or electronic copies of work reports (on CDs) other than what is submitted through MLAS will not be accepted.
  • Assessment work deadline will be midnight on the anniversary date of the mining claim even if that day falls on a weekend or statutory holiday.
  • Assessment work requirements per cell claim will be $400.
  • Assessment work requirements per boundary claim will be $200.
  • New proposed requirement, assessment work cannot be filed on patents that are not “mining” patents. The filing of assessment work on a patent triggers liability to mining land tax.
  • The distribution of assessment credit will no longer be tied to when the work was performed or to the time the beneficial interest came into effect.
  • Approved assessment credit will go directly into the reserve of the claim where the work was performed. All distributions of credit will be withdrawn from the reserve.

For Further Information

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