The proposed amendments to the regulation are part of a new set of regulatory provisions that are being phased in to support the recent amendments to Ontario’s modernized Mining Act.
Proposals for most of the Mining Act’s first phase of new regulatory provisions were posted on the Environmental Registry (ER) or Regulatory Registry in November, 2010, and were implemented in Spring 2011.
As part of the Phase II implementation regulations under the Mining Act, MNDM is proposing to amend the Assessment Work Regulation. The amendments would add new items that are eligible for assessment work credits, which are needed to keep mining claims in good standing:
• Aboriginal consultation costs,
• GPS data for the boundaries of existing, recorded mining claims,
• payments in lieu of actual assessment work
The amendments would also:
• remove some limits on a mining recorder’s authority to grant an extension of time to do assessment work on a mining claim, and
• clarify the assessment work requirements for a mining claim while an application for a mining lease of the claim is pending
New Assessment Work Credits
(a) Aboriginal consultation costs
Aboriginal consultation costs can be submitted for assessment work credit but only when actual geoscience assessment work is submitted. The Aboriginal consultation costs would be a portion of the cost of work submitted for assessment credit. Once accepted, the credits for Aboriginal consultation can be banked and distributed. Unlike geoscience work, Aboriginal consultation costs are not discounted (given less than 100% value) over time.
(b) GPS of claim boundaries
Assessment work credit would be allowed for providing GPS data on the boundaries of existing mining claims, where the claims were recorded before the new requirement to include this data when applying to record a claim. This will assist in verifying the location of existing claims for the planned move to fully electronic, on-line map staking.
(c) Payment in lieu of assessment work
Payments could be made instead of some or all of the geoscience assessment work to maintain a claim in good standing. However, such payments cannot be used towards the first unit of required assessment work and cannot be applied in consecutive assessment years. Payments in lieu must be used at the time they are made, and cannot be banked for future years. Payments in lieu do not count as assessment credits towards the five units of assessment work required before a claim holder can apply for a mining lease.
(d) The regulation would allow the Mining Recorder greater flexibility to grant an extension of time for a claimholder to complete the required work to maintain a claim in good standing.
(e) The regulation would clarify that a mining claim must be kept in good standing (assessment work credits applied) until the mining claim holder has completed all of the requirements to bring a claim to lease.