Critical Minerals – Review of Bulk Sample Thresholds

ERO number
019-4444
Notice type
Bulletin
Act
Mining Act, R.S.O. 1990
Posted by
Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry
Bulletin posted
Last updated

This notice is for informational purposes only. There is no requirement to consult on this initiative on the Environmental Registry of Ontario. Learn more about the types of notices on the registry.

Bulletin summary

The ministry completed a review of bulk sample thresholds in order to ensure the thresholds met the balance of a competitive mining sector with environmental protection and sustainability. Changes to the bulk sample thresholds are not required.

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. However, given the environmental significance of the Mining Act, the ministry is voluntarily posting this notice for information.

Bulletin details

Under Section 52 of the Mining Act, minister’s permission (bulk sample permission) is required to extract more than the prescribed quantity (which is 100 tonnes, except in the case of gemstones, in which case the quantity is 100 kg) of a mineral bearing substance from an unpatented mining claim for the purpose of testing mineral content. 

If the proposed extraction is greater than or equal to 1,000 tonnes, or the activity meets the definition of advanced exploration, an advanced exploration closure plan must also be filed with the bulk sample permission.  Extraction below that threshold will (in most circumstances) require an exploration permit in addition to a bulk sample permission.

Through the critical minerals framework discussion paper, the ministry committed to undertake a review of bulk sample thresholds to ensure they meet the balance of a competitive mining sector with environmental protection and sustainability.

As a result of the review undertaken and feedback received from the engagement on the critical minerals framework discussion paper, the ministry has determined that amendments to bulk sample thresholds are not required. The attachment “Summary of Decision Note – Bulk Sample Thresholds” summarizes the findings of that review and identifies the next steps the ministry is pursuing in this regard.

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