Mining Act resources
Learn about the Mining Act, its policies, standards and directives and how to complete the Mining Act Awareness Program.
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The Mining Act is legislation that governs and regulates prospecting, mineral exploration, mine development and rehabilitation in Ontario, 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.
The purpose of the Act is to encourage:
- online mining claim registration
- exploration for the development of mineral resources
Mining Act forms
You may be required to submit a form to notify the ministry or get certain permissions required by the Mining Act.
We developed a set of policies to help you implement Mining Act provisions and regulations.
To view a listing of other Mining Act policies, visit the policies website.
Duty to consult with Aboriginal communities
We made changes to the Mining Act in 2009, including new regulations to promote mineral exploration and development in a manner that recognizes Aboriginal and treaty rights.
The Consultation framework gives information and direction to proponents and Aboriginal communities on how the ministry implements the consultation framework set out in the Mining Act and regulations.
For more information on Aboriginal and treaty rights:
- Ministry of Indigenous Affairs for information about Aboriginal communities, Land Claims and Reconciliation in Ontario.
- Aboriginal Portal for information on aboriginal communities Land Claims and Treaties.
- Atlas of Canada for maps and data regarding treaties and the history of treaties, including maps showing treaty boundaries.
Read the standards for exploration plans and permits, and reporting assessment work.
- 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 Ontario Regulation 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.
- Directive 1 – Getting started
- Directive 2 – Obtaining a prospector’s licence
- Directive 3 – Registering a mining claim
- Directive 4 – Claim management
- Directive 5 – Assessment work reporting
- Directive 6 – Early exploration activities
- Directive 7 – Disposition Management
Mining Act Awareness Program
The Mining Act Awareness Program (MAAP) is an online training course that provides information on the Mining Act and its provisions and regulations. The program ensures that prospectors and exploration proponents are informed before engaging in prospecting and exploration activity.
The MAAP covers topics such as:
- the purpose of the Mining Act and its regulations, including the operational policies that outline how early exploration activities must be carried out in Ontario
- Aboriginal and treaty rights
- the rights of private landowners, and other users of the land when planning for early exploration activities
- the requirements for carrying out early exploration activities
- resources to help you with online mining claim registration and early exploration activities
If you are completing MAAP to conduct business with the ministry and/or to satisfy a mandatory requirement under the Mining Act, you should complete MAAP through MLAS. Register for MAAP in your MLAS account.
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 landowner or a member or representative of an Indigenous community that may engage or work with prospectors and the mineral exploration industry
You can also complete the MAAP if you are interested in the mining sequence or the Mining Act topics covered by the MAAP.
Class Environmental Assessments
A Class Environmental Assessment (Class EA) describes a planning and decision-making process for groups (or classes) of activities where a proponent must conduct an environmental assessment. The classes of activities eligible for review under a Class EA must be routine in nature, with predictable and manageable environmental effects.
A Class EA for Activities of the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines (PDF) was approved under the Environmental Assessment Act on December 12, 2012. It was amended on July 3, 2014 and February 28, 2018.
The Class EA applies to activities where the ministry has a discretionary decision-making ability. The classes of activities subject to the Class EA under the Mining Act includes:
- discretionary tenure decisions related to surface rights, mining rights and chattels
- discretionary mine hazard rehabilitation activities carried out by the ministry
This publication is available in English only. Regulation 671/92 exempts it from translation under the French Language Services Act. To get information in French or for more information, contact the Strategic Support Unit at:
Recent mining Class EA projects
- Compass Minerals Canada Corp. mining rights only lease renewal
Status: Notice of opportunity to provide input (November 17, 2023)
- Shawmere project — bulk sampling
Status: Statement of completion (October 23, 2023)
- Gould Copper Mine rehabilitation project
Status: Notice of completion for a category C project (October 26, 2023)
- Kirk Mine rehabilitation project
Status: Statement of completion (July 7, 2023)
- Rock Lake Mine South rehabilitation project
Status: Statement of completion (July 7, 2023)
- K+S Windsor Salt Ltd. Mining Rights Only Leases Renewal
Status: Complete (April 6, 2022)
- Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry for information regarding various other uses and users of Crown land.
- Environmental Registry of Ontario provides public notices about environmental matters being proposed by all government ministries covered by the Environmental Bill of Rights, 1993, including exploration permits.
- Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada’s e3Plus: A Framework for Responsible Exploration for information to help exploration companies improve their social, environmental, and health and safety performance.