Updated: Claim staking for prospectors and companies moves online in third stage of Ontario’s new mining act, currently being implemented
Ontario prospectors are no longer able to stake claims the traditional way as of midnight this morning. The province is in the process of implementing the third stage of its modernized mining act, which will involve online claim staking and an electronic system for administering mining lands.
The goal of the updates is to make mining lands administration and management simpler, and make exploration less intrusive to recognize Indigenous and treaty rights as well as better respect private landowners.
With the new system, mining companies or prospectors will be able to stake a claim by selecting the piece of land they want to claim on a digital map using an online registration system.
There will be a single registration fee for staking a claim under the new system, but Ontario’s Ministry of Northern Development and Mines has not finalized the cost yet, said ministry spokesperson Cameron Ferguson in an email to CIM Magazine. Currently, staking a mining claim includes a recording fee, a cost for acquiring claim tags and additional costs to the individual or company.
“We are working to ensure the cost of the regulatory compliance creates a fair and competitive environment for mineral exploration in Ontario,” Ferguson said.
Independent prospectors have said the switch to online staking may cause them to lose a major source of their income. Along with traditional prospecting work, many independents stake on contract for mining companies and on their own by acquiring land and selling it to companies at a profit.
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