Learn about exploration activities that require an exploration plan and how to submit one.
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An exploration plan is a document provided to the Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry (NDMNRF) by an early exploration proponent indicating the location and dates for prescribed early exploration activities.
Exploration plans are used to inform Aboriginal communities, government, surface rights owners and other stakeholders about these activities.
In order to undertake certain prescribed exploration activities, an exploration plan must be submitted, and any surface rights owners must be notified. Aboriginal communities potentially affected by the exploration plan activities will be notified by the NDMNRF and have an opportunity to provide feedback before the proposed activities can be carried out.
Early exploration proponents who wish to undertake prescribed exploration activities on claims, leases or licences of occupation must submit the exploration plan.
Activities that require an exploration plan
- line cutting that is a width of 1.5 metres or less
- geophysical surveys on the ground requiring the use of a generator
- mechanized stripping a total surface area of less than 100 square metres within a 200-metre radius
- excavation of bedrock that removes one cubic metre and up to three cubic metres of material within a 200-metre radius
- use of a drill that weighs less than 150 kilograms
More information on these activities can be found in the Activity Information (PDF) document. As part of our efforts to improve outreach to Indigenous communities the Activity Information documents are available in Cree, Oji-Cree and Ojibway. If you would like a copy of these translated documents, please contact NDMNRF.
Exploration plans should be submitted at least 35 days prior to the expected commencement of activities. Submission of an exploration plan is voluntary beginning November 1, 2012. Exploration plans are mandatory as of April 1, 2013.
Exploration plans forms can be submitted directly to NDMNRF through the following method:
- online through the Mining Lands Administrative System (MLAS)
- If you have any questions relating to this change, please contact your regional Mineral Exploration and Development office:
Northwest - Thunder Bay Office (
Northeast - Timmins Office (
South/Central - Sudbury Office (
- The Central Forms Repository has all forms relating to exploration plans and exploration permits.
Access submitted active plans
Exploration plans (XLSX) that have been issued show the submitted active plans. The table shows the plan number, the claim holder, township name and the project name.