The Mining Act is the provincial legislation that governs and regulates prospecting, mineral exploration, mine development and rehabilitation in Ontario. The purpose of the Act is to encourage prospecting, online mining claim registration and exploration for the development of mineral resources, in a manner consistent with the recognition and affirmation of existing Aboriginal and treaty rights in Section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982, including the duty to consult, and to minimize the impact of these activities on public health and safety and the environment.

Mining Act forms

As required by the Mining Act, individuals and corporations may be required to submit a form in order to notify the ministry or obtain certain permissions.

Access all Mining Act forms.


The ministry has developed a set of policies to aid clients on implementation of relevant Mining Act provisions and regulations.

Changes have been made to the Mining Act, including new regulations to promote mineral exploration and development in a manner that recognizes Aboriginal and treaty rights.

The publication “Consultation framework: Implementing the duty to consult with Aboriginal communities on mineral exploration and mine production in Ontario” provides information and direction to proponents and Aboriginal communities outlining how the Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry implements the consultation framework set out in the Mining Act and regulations.

To view a listing of other Mining Act policies, visit the policies website.


The ministry has recently developed standards related to exploration plans and permits and to georeferencing of unpatented mining claims, as follows:

  • Provincial Standards for Early Exploration, (PDF) effective April 10, 2018, lists requirements that must be met when carrying out exploration plan or permit activities, including requirements for rehabilitation when the early exploration activities have been completed.
  • Technical Standards for Reporting Assessment Work (PDF), effective April 10, 2018, lists the minimum requirements for Assessment Work reports for the different work types and costs and expenses that are eligible under O. Reg. 65/18.


The following directives provide direction on the use of the Mining Lands Administration System (MLAS).  Per the Mining Act and the regulations claimholders, lessees, patent holders, or prospector licensees must be registered users in MLAS to do business for mining purposes, in Ontario. Consult our user guide for instructions on how to register.

Mining Act Awareness Program

Please be advised that the Mining Act Awareness Program (MAAP) is presented here for viewing purposes only. If you are completing MAAP to conduct business with NDMNRF and/or to satisfy a mandatory requirement under the Mining Act, please first register in The Mining Lands Administration System (MLAS) and complete MAAP through the application.

Should you require more information please call 1-888-415-9845 Monday to Friday between 8:30 am and 5:00 pm.

The MAAP is an online training course that provides information on the basics of the Mining Act and its provisions and regulations. The program ensures that prospectors and exploration proponents are informed before they engage in prospecting and exploration activity.

Who must take the MAAP?

You must complete the MAAP if you:

  • are applying for or renewing an existing prospector's licence
  • hold a lifetime prospector's licence
  • are listed as a "qualified supervisor" on an exploration plan or permit
  • are a private land owner or a member or representative of an Aboriginal Community that may engage or work with prospectors and the mineral exploration industry
  • are interested in the mining sequence or the Mining Act Topics covered by the MAAP

The MAAP covers a wide range of important topics such as:

  • the purpose of the Mining Act and its regulations, including the operational policies that outline how early exploration activities are to be carried out in Ontario
  • Aboriginal and treaty rights
  • the rights of private land owners, and other users of the land when planning for early exploration activities
  • the requirements for carrying out early exploration activities
  • resources available to assist in preparing for online mining claim registration and early exploration activities

A Class Environmental Assessment for Activities of the NDMNRF under the Mining Act

Learn how the Class EA applies to ministry discretionary tenure decisions related to surface rights, mining rights and chattels, and discretionary mine hazard rehabilitation activities.


MLAS video tutorials