Staking is the process of marking an area of land for the purpose of claiming exclusive rights to explore for minerals on that land.  This process is referred to as staking a mining claim.

Land Available for Staking

Before attempting to stake an area of land it is important to check if the land is available for staking. Land may be unavailable for staking for a number of reasons, including:

  • The land has been previously staked.
  • The land is designated as an Aboriginal reserve.
  • The land is an environmentally sensitive area.
  • The land is part of a provincial park or conservation area.
  • The land is part of a residential area.

The location of land where claim staking can or cannot occur is displayed by the CLAIMaps application. Further information regarding land availability can be found by contacting the Provincial Mining Recorder Operations Unit.

Staking Land

Mining Act Awareness Program

You must have a valid prospector’s licence to stake a mining claim.

You must complete the Mining Act Awareness Program (MAAP) within 60 days before applying for a licence or a licence renewal.  MAAP is an online program that provides basic information on the mining sequence.  It includes information on staking claims, early exploration and Aboriginal consultation requirements.

If you want to renew your licence, you must have completed MAAP within 60 days before your licence is due to expire.

Ground Staking

Ground staking a piece of land involves outlining the perimetre of the area to be staked.  Do this by planting corner posts and line posts and marking the claim boundary lines by blazing trees and cutting underbrush.
The corner and line posts must be marked using metal tags. Tags may be purchased from the Provincial Recording Office or other offices, such as the Mining Land Consultant Office, or Service Ontario.

Map Staking

Map staking is the action of staking a mining claim using a map reference system, without having to physically be on the land.
A map staked mining claim must have common boundaries with the section, lot or concession lines established by the original survey.  It must provide a description of the claim with reference to the original survey fabric.
Map staking is only permitted in surveyed areas in Southern Ontario, provided there are no registered surface rights owners.  A title search at the Land Registry Office may be required prior to map staking.

Corner Posts

Ground staked mining claims are staked in a square or rectangular shape.
Each corner of the mining claim must be marked with a post. These posts are known as corner posts.  Corner posts can be constructed from a standing tree, commercial timber or a loose post.  They must stand 1.2 metres above ground when erected.
A metal tag, known as a claim corner post tag, must be affixed to each corner post. Claim corner post tags are engraved with a unique number, known as a claim number, which identifies the mining claim.  They also have a second number, which indicates which corner post the tag is to be placed on.

Claim Lines

A clearly marked line, known as a claim boundary, must be made between the four corner posts. Claim boundaries are usually marked by blazing trees and cutting underbrush with an axe.  Piles of loose rock, known as cairns, or stakes cut from other smaller trees, known as pickets, are acceptable if trees are not available or undesirable to cut.

Line Posts

A line post is used in conjunction with a claim line to mark the perimetre of a mining claim. For unsurveyed areas, line posts must be erected at every 400 metres along a claim line and at locations where the boundary changes direction.
A metal tag, known as a claim line post tag, must be affixed to each line post. Claim line post tags are blank when purchased and must be engraved with the claim number found on the claim corner post tags along with the distance and direction from the last corner post.


If a ground staked mining claim is staked on or after November 1, 2012, Global Positioning System (GPS) georeferencing data for the mining claim must be included on the application to record the mining claim.  This requirement only applies to ground staked mining claims on lands that are unsurveyed.  It does not apply to land surveyed into lots and concession.
This is a step towards clarifying claim locations in advance of the planned move to fully electronic, on-line map staking. It is important to obtain accurate GPS georeferencing data for the mining claim as these coordinates may be used to delineate the location of the claim after the change to on-line map staking.
Read the georeferencing standards for more information on data collection requirements.

Registering a Claim

You must apply to have a claim number recorded within 30 days after the day on which the ground staking was completed. Submit an application to record the mining claim to the Provincial Recording Office or another designated office, such as the Mining Land Consultant Office. You must include the registration fee with your application.

Contacting Surface Rights Holders

A surface rights holder is a person who own rights to a piece of land which do not include the mineral rights.
The staker must notify all persons who own surface rights to any part of the land located within the claim area that their land has been staked for the purpose of mineral exploration.
The staker must send proof of an attempt to notify surface rights holders to the Provincial Mining Recorder within 60 days after making the application to record the claim, in order for the mining claim to remain valid


For more information about staking a mining claim, contact the Provincial Recording Office.

A number of resources are also available to help explain the land staking process. These resources includes:

  • Claim staking regulations - outlines the regulations associated with ground staking and map staking land.
  • CLAIMaps - CLAIMaps displays the location of land where claim staking can or cannot occur.