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