Amendments to the Mining Act to provide relief to claim holders

ERO number
019-2426
Notice type
Act
Act
Mining Act, R.S.O. 1990
Posted by
Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines
Transferred to
Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry
Notice stage
Decision
Decision posted
Comment period
October 6, 2020 - November 20, 2020 (45 days) Closed
Last updated

This consultation was open from:
October 6, 2020
to November 20, 2020

Decision summary

The proposed amendments to the Mining Act allow the Minister in special circumstances to provide blanket exclusions of time or extensions of time for assessment work and allow for the Minister to annul the forfeiture of a boundary claim.

Decision details

Under the Mining Act, claim holders are required to perform or report assessment work on their mining claim to keep their claim in good standing. During times of crisis, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, claim holders may face challenges in fulfilling this requirement. Prior to these amendments, the Mining Act did not have a provision that allowed the Minister to proactively provide stability to claim holders who may become concerned about maintaining their mining claims in good standing. Instead, each individual claim holder had to apply for an exclusion or extension of time.

Through the amendment to the Mining Act, the Minister, on his or her initiative, can now provide a blanket exclusion of time or extension for assessment work under special circumstances that would relieve claim holders of these requirements for a given time period or until a certain due date to give claim holders more time to report work. No application from the claim holder is required.

Under the Mining Act, mining claims are automatically forfeited when a claim holder fails to satisfy its obligation to perform and report on assessment work. While the Minister has authority, where appropriate, to annul the forfeiture in most circumstances, prior to these amendments the Act prohibited the Minister from annulling the forfeiture of a boundary claim if the forfeiture resulted in the boundary claim expanding and becoming a single cell claim for the entire cell.

ENDM has removed this prohibition in order to allow the Minister, in this very specific situation, the discretion to provide an annulment of the forfeiture to a claim holder whose boundary claim is forfeited.

These amendments will ensure that there are tools available for the Minister to quickly respond to future challenges or crises, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. These amendments were part of Bill 213: the Better for People, Smarter for Business Act, 2020, passed December 8, 2020.

Comments received

Through the registry

1

By email

0

By mail

0
View comments submitted through the registry

Effects of consultation

The Ministry received one comment during the 45-day comment period on our Environmental Registry posting from Wabun Tribal Council. The comment expressed the following:

  • The circumstances under which the minister provide a blanket extension for mining claim holders should be clearly described and constrained in the Mining Act.
  • Request for a process for First Nations engagement with the minister prior to an issuance of blanket extension or exclusion orders.
  • Request for the opportunity to review mining claims that have been cancelled before they are reinstated.

We have reviewed and considered these comments and provide the following additional information.

A proposed policy with respect to how the Minister will consider issuing an order for an exclusion of time on his/her own initiative will be developed. The policy will likely include a description of “special circumstances”; we expect that this description would refer to an unavoidable event that is the result of the elements of nature (e.g. tornado, flood, public health emergency) or another unavoidable issue.

Requests by a claim holder for reinstatement after a claim has cancelled are considered on a case by case basis.  It is a discretionary decision made by the Minister (or a delegate of the Minister) after evaluating the available information provided.

This change is giving claim holders in very specific situations the ability to ask for re-instatement. The process whereby the Minister makes that decision is not changing and as with all requests will be considered based on individual circumstances.

We also reviewed and considered additional comments from Wabun Tribal Council that were in reference to our proposed legislative amendments under another notice on ”Amendments to the Mining Act to streamline and improve consistency.”

Supporting materials

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Important notice: Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, viewing supporting materials in person is not available at this time.

Please reach out to the Contact listed in this notice to see if alternate arrangements can be made.

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Original proposal

ERO number
019-2426
Notice type
Act
Act
Mining Act, R.S.O. 1990
Posted by
Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines
Proposal posted

Comment period

October 6, 2020 - November 20, 2020 (45 days)

Proposal details

Under the Mining Act, claim holders are required to perform or report assessment work on their mining claim to keep their claim in good standing. During times of crisis, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, claim holders may face challenges in fulfilling this requirement. Currently, unlike some jurisdictions, the Ontario Mining Act does not have a provision that allows the Minister to proactively provide stability to claim holders who may become concerned about maintaining their mining claims in good standing. Instead, each individual claim holder must submit an application for an exclusion or extension of time.

Through the proposed amendment to the Mining Act, the Minister would be able to provide a blanket exclusion of time or extension for assessment work that would relieve claim holders of these requirements for a given time period or until a certain due date to give claim holders more time to report work.  No application from the claim holder would be required.

Under the Mining Act, mining claims are also automatically forfeited when the holder fails to satisfy its obligation to perform and report on assessment work. While the Minister has authority, where appropriate, to annul the forfeiture in most circumstances, currently the Act prohibits the Minister from annulling the forfeiture of a boundary claim if the forfeiture has resulted in another boundary claim expanding to cover the underlying land.

ENDM is proposing to remove this prohibition in order to allow the Minister the discretion to provide an annulment of the forfeiture to a claim holder whose boundary claim is forfeited under these circumstances

These proposed amendments will ensure that there are tools available for the Minister to quickly respond to future challenges or crises, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Theses amendments are also part of Bill 213 the Better for People, Smarter for Business Act, 2020.

Supporting materials

View materials in person

Important notice: Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, viewing supporting materials in person is not available at this time.

Please reach out to the Contact listed in this notice to see if alternate arrangements can be made.

Comment

Commenting is now closed.

This consultation was open from October 6, 2020
to November 20, 2020

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