MERN - Québec Mines - Amendments to the Mining Act








        ISSN en ligne :
        1499-383X





february 2004
 

Amendments to the Mining Act
Adjustments to fine-tune the system

Jocelyn Boucher
Direction du développement minéral

In fall 2000, profound changes were made to Québec's mining system. Introducing the concept of acquiring a claim by map designation, limiting the ground staking of a claim to specified areas, and adopting a single exploration title valid for all mineral substances on public land are among the major changes. However, several provisions, specifically those relating to map designation, mean new practices for both the mining industry and the Ministère des Ressources naturelles, de la Faune et des Parcs (MRNFP) and require certain adjustments.

 

The Act amending the Mining Act was assented to on December 18, 2003. The amendments involve the following elements:

 

 

  • The renewal of the holder's claims included within a 4.5-kilometre radius from the claim on which the holder has performed excess work (rather than a 3.2-kilometre square). Using a circle with a 4.5-kilometre radius, measured from the centre of the claim for which excess work was performed, is consistent with the new reality of the map-designated claim, which is larger than the former claim.
  • The elimination of the grace period for renewing a claim outside its period of validity (15 days following the date of expiry).
  • The possibility of map designation within an area where claims are obtained by staking, under certain conditions, when it appears that the location of the perimeter of the parcel of land to which the notice of map designation applies is not likely to result in a dispute. An upcoming modification to the Regulation respecting Mineral Substances, other than Petroleum, Natural Gas and Brine is necessary for the implementation of this legislative provision.
  • The notice amending the limits of territories where claims can be obtained by staking or by map designation will take effect at the date indicated in the notice.
  • A clarification regarding the date when the holder of a mining exploration licence must file a report of assessment work, set before the end of each year of the term of the license.
  • An additional condition pertaining to applying for claims and exclusive leases to mine surface mineral substances (BEX) in order to prevent a holder (including a holder’s representatives, subsidiaries, their directors and employees) from abandoning a claim, and then applying for a claim or a BEX without having performed the minimum work required. The holder in question may not submit an application before the end of a sixty-day (60) period.
  • A priority in favour of the person applying for conversion of an exploration licence for surface mineral substances (PRS) into map-designated claims on the same day that a third party files a notice of map designation.
  • The date for filing the operator’s preliminary report of activities is set for October 31st of each year, instead of before October 1st. The operator must also submit an annual report of activities by March 31st of each year, instead of during the month of January. Finally, the operator must submit a monthly or quarterly report of activities before the fifteenth day of the following month.
  • The transfer of responsibility for preparing the studies and the rehabilitation plan for an inactive mine site to the person held responsible for the mine tailings.
  • From now on, the Minister may require payment of the entire financial guarantee related to the rehabilitation of a mine site when the financial situation of the operator deteriorates or when the latter reduces the duration of exploration activities.
  • The Minister may issue an exclusive lease to mine surface mineral substances (BEX) to a municipality or an intermunicipal board for the construction and maintenance of its streets and road network, under certain conditions. However, municipalities or intermunicipal boards that request non-exclusive leases may continue to obtain them. An upcoming modification to the Regulation respecting Mineral Substances, other than Petroleum, Natural Gas and Brine is necessary for the implementation of this legislative provision.
  • The Minister may temporarily suspend the issuing of mineral titles in a territory, for a maximum period of six months, while preparing a ministerial order for reasons of public interest (for example, to create a protected area). Mining customers will be informed of the suspension by a notice on the MRNFP’s official map of mineral titles.
  • The Minister may, on his or her own initiative, convert certain mineral titles into map-designated claims in accordance with applicable conditions in the Act.
  • The Minister may replace or amalgamate parcels of claims, on his or her own initiative or at the request of a claim holder, so that a single claim is registered in the Public Register of Real and Immovable Mining Rights (combining small areas, simplifying management, and reducing costs for mining claim holders. An upcoming modification to the Regulation respecting Mineral Substances, other than Petroleum, Natural Gas and Brine is necessary for the implementation of these legislative provisions.

Bill 13, An Act to amend the Mining Act (PDF Format, 64,9  Kb)

 















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