Minerals are a hidden resource and access to land is one of the means to discover and bring value to those provincial resources. AME works with governments, communities, and stakeholders to maintain access to land for mineral exploration. Access by air, roads, and trails should meet the needs of our members while protecting the environment as well as the safety of explorers and the public.
AME believes that the hidden value of minerals should be properly evaluated and considered as part of any discussion about land access and use. While mineralized showings are common, the reality of an exploration project becoming an operating mine is very low. However, the potential benefits of an operating mine to a region can be very high indeed and need to be considered as part of any evaluation of a land base.
The BC mineral tenure system allows individuals and corporations to acquire mineral rights and conduct exploration for minerals situated on crown and private land. Before registering mineral claims electronically, the company or individual is required to register with the government and pay a fee to obtain a Free Miner Certificate. Mineral rights are acquired by registering a mineral claim to land through Mineral Titles Online.
Mineral rights do not provide an individual or corporation with surface rights or automatic right to proceed to development. Individuals or corporations wishing to develop mineral properties using mechanical equipment must acquire multiple permits for specific activities related to exploration and development.
Larger disturbances to the land require higher levels of environmental, social, and economic assessment. Major projects are subject to thorough environmental assessment reviews. The review of proposed work programs by government include public and First Nations consultation based upon the scope of the proposed work and will in most cases require the posting of a reclamation security deposit.
BC’s mineral tenure system generally provides strong clear title to minerals. Security of tenure is crucial to maintaining Canada’s edge in the global mineral exploration activity and access to capital that funds such exploration activities. However, practically speaking, the strength of title is dependent on the ability of a project to be accessible and permitted (see Permitting). Access is dependent on various factors – including road conditions and maintenance, wildlife protection measures and land use planning.
Mineral Titles Online is the provincial registry for mineral tenure: https://www.mtonline.gov.bc.ca/mtov/home.do.
Enquiries regarding Mineral Titles Online should be directed to the Mineral Titles Branch of the BC Ministry of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation at [email protected], 1.866.616.4999.