Overview

Development is the process of constructing a mining facility and the infrastructure to support it.

The development phase contains one area:

  1. Mine Development - constructing a mining facility and the infrastructure to support the facility

Mine development

The process of constructing a mining facility and the infrastructure to support the facility is known as mine development.

Mine development may involve many activities such as:

  • The preparation of the mine site by clearing trees and blasting rock
  • The construction of mining facilities such as head frames, administration buildings or mechanical shops
  • The creation of infrastructure such as power lines and substations, roads or water lines

Requirements

Before beginning development, certain requirements must be met. These requirements include:

Closure plan

All land affected by development activity must be rehabilitated after the activity has finished. A closure plan outlines how the affected land will be rehabilitated and the costs associated with doing so. A closure plan must be developed and acknowledged by the ministry before mine development can begin.

Closure plans must be certified by company executives to ensure that they cover all of the conditions described in the Mine Rehabilitation Code and that all outlined rehabilitation tasks meet necessary technical requirements.

Content and format

The required format and content of a closure plan is described by Schedule 2 of the closure plan regulations. The Closure Plan Boundary & Land Tenure Guideline (PDF) provides additional details and clarification on regulations related to closure plans and closure plan amendments -- items 3(ii), 3(iii) and 4(vii).

Rehabilitation standards

The tasks involved with rehabilitating an area of land depend on the type of mine hazards that will be created as a result of the development activity that will be performed on the land. Mine hazards may include:

  • Mine openings to the surface
  • Open pits
  • Waste rock piles

Each type of mine hazard has an associated set of rehabilitation tasks. Each task has a set of standards which must be adhered to. These standards define requirements, such as:

  • Acceptable material for capping openings
  • Minimum load specifications
  • Engineering inspections
  • Necessary signage

Rehabilitation tasks and standards, broken down by type of hazard, are outlined by the Mine Rehabilitation Code of Ontario.

Financial assurance

In order to ensure that the rehabilitation work outlined in a closure plan is successfully performed, even in the event that the proponent of the exploration activity faces financial or legal troubles, a financial guarantee equal to the estimated cost of the rehabilitation work must be held by the ministry. This financial guarantee is known as financial assurance. Financial assurance must be included with the submission of a closure plan.

Forms of financial assurance

Financial assurance can be provided in one of the following forms:

  • Cash
  • A letter of credit from a bank named in Schedule I of the Bank Act. A letter of credit is a document issued by a bank agreeing that it will pay money to a beneficiary, on behalf of the bank's customer , if certain events take place
  • A bond of a guarantee company approved under the Insurance Act. A bond (surety bond) is a document issued by a guarantee (insurance)company agreeing to pay money to an obligee if certain events take place
  • A mining reclamation trust as defined in the Income Tax Act
  • Compliance with a corporate financial test in the prescribed manner
  • Any other form of security or any other guarantee or protection, including a pledge of assets, a sinking fund or royalties per tonne, that is acceptable to the Director of Mine Rehabilitation

Return of financial assurance

Financial assurance will be returned to the proponent of the exploration activity after the rehabilitation work has been performed. Financial assurance will only be returned if the rehabilitation work is performed in accordance with the closure plan and meets the ministry's satisfaction following an inspection of the site.

How do I find out more about financial assurance that have been submitted?

Financial Assurance that have been submitted are included on the Financial Assurance Table (XSLX) (updated regularly).

Financial assurance resources

Resources

  • 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
  • For more information on developing a mine or determining the approvals required during construction, please contact the Mineral Exploration and Development Section or one of their local offices