Proposal to Establish a Public Registry for Licences of Occupation

ERO number
Notice type
Mining Act, R.S.O. 1990
Posted by
Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines
Notice stage
Proposal posted
Comment period
April 15, 2021 - May 25, 2021 (40 days) Closed
Last updated

There is no requirement to post this notice on the Environmental Registry of Ontario, but we want to hear your thoughts. Submit a comment and tell us what you think. Learn about the consultation process and types of notices on the registry.

This consultation was open from:

April 15, 2021
to May 25, 2021

Proposal summary

We want to amend the Mining Act to establish a public registry for licences of occupation, so the public can more easily access the Ministry’s information. The registry would be accessible through the Mining Lands Administration System (MLAS).

Why consultation isn't required

Under the Environmental Bill of Rights, this proposal does not require consultation as there are no anticipated potentially significant environmental impacts with the proposed amendment. However, given the environmental significance of the Mining Act, the ministry is voluntarily posting this notice for comment.

Proposal details

The Provincial Recording Office maintains a mining claims registry that includes records, maps and information about mining claims and claim holders. This registry is accessible to the public through MLAS.

Currently, however, there is no similar registry for licences of occupation. In order to access the information that the Ministry holds about licences of occupation, the public must make a written request to the Provincial Recording Office or physically attend at an office.

Industry representatives have asked for this information to be more easily accessible in a similar way as mining claim information currently is.

Licences of occupation include:

  • Mining licences of occupation (MLO), which are licences that allow for the extraction of minerals located under beds of water.
  • Exploratory licences of occupation (ELO), which are licences that allow for the exploration of tracts of land and/or land under water.
    The process for issuing licences of occupation under the existing Mining Act regime requires the approval of the Lieutenant Governor in Council. They are generally issued to allow for exploration for minerals in areas that are not open to claim registration.

The public registry would provide certainty to the public about the type of information that is available. It would allow the public to access the information in a more consistent, timely and efficient manner and assist research being undertaken about Ontario’s mineral industry.

Establishing this public registry requires amendments to the Mining Act and potentially regulations thereunder. The amendments will likely be similar to the existing provisions that provide the authority for the mining claims registry.

By including information on licences of occupation in a public registry, the burden to request this information from the Provincial Recording Office is removed. 

  • Requesters currently pay a fee of $15/hour for ministry staff to gather the information and produce a report. The Ministry typically receives approximately 10 requests per month, an estimation in savings annually of $1800.
  • For companies or financiers doing due diligence into potential acquisitions or financings, transactional costs would be reduced. 

There is no expected increase or reduction of regulatory compliance requirements anticipated with the proposed amendments.


Supporting materials

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


Commenting is now closed.

The comment period was from April 15, 2021
to May 25, 2021

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