Learn about the stages of mineral exploration and development in Ontario and get resources for each stage of the mining sequence.
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Mining is the process of extracting valuable minerals or other geological materials from the earth.
Mining involves a number of stages which occur in a sequence. This sequence of stages is known as the mining sequence. The mining sequence covers all aspects of mining, including: prospecting for ore bodies, analysis of the profit potential of a proposed mine, extraction of the desired materials and, once a mine is closed, the restoration of all lands used for mining to their original state.
Stages of the mining sequence
The mining sequence is divided into six stages. Each stage represents a certain period in the life of a mineral deposit. The stages, ordered chronologically from earliest and following the order in which they occur, include:
- Consultation - communicate all actions and intentions with those who will be affected by mining sequence activities
- Exploration - gather data about potential mineral deposits and acquire the rights to harvest those mineral deposits
- Evaluation - determine which mineral deposit has the most profit potential
- Development - construction of a mine or mines
- Production - operation of the mine or mines
- Closure - demolition of the mine or mines and rehabilitation of all lands used for mining
An Exploration Plan is a document provided to NDMNRF by an Early Exploration Proponent indicating the location and dates for prescribed early exploration activities.
An Exploration Permit is an instrument which allows an early exploration proponent to carry out prescribed early exploration activities at specific times and in specific locations.
The Mines and Minerals Division employs a number of mineral exploration and development consultants who are available to discuss the details of a mineral development project and to provide guidance and oversight. To get in touch with a consultant, contact the Mineral Exploration and Development Section or one of their local offices.
A number of resources are also available to help propeFrly plan and implement a mineral development project through all stages of the mining sequence. These resources includes:
- Regulatory Requirements Outside of the ministry [PDF] provides a listing and descriptions of some of the regulatory permits and other requirements for common activities related to mineral exploration and development activities. The pdf document contains a left side navigation pane. If your browser does not show this pane, save the pdf file to your computer and view with Adobe Acrobat Reader.
- One Window Coordination Process [PDF] - provides an overview of legislation and regulations, including environmental assessments and details on how to work with the Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry Mines to co-ordinate with other regulators.
- The Project Definition Template (DOC) provides a clear outline of what information proponents should collect at the early stage of project planning in order to maximize the amount of advice that regulators can provide them. This will result in speedier and more effective delivery of regulatory advice and, thus, of permits and approvals.
For further information or assistance on matters related to planning and implementing a mineral development project through any stage of the mineral development process, please don't hesitate to call us at