Proposal to Establish a Public Registry for licences of occupation.
Bill or Act:
Summary of Decision:
The Provincial Recording Office will maintain a "registry" that includes the licence of occupation registry, once the relevant amendments to the Mining Act have been proclaimed, and the related regulations have been filed. The new registry will include information such as records, maps, and information about mining claims and claim/licence holders.
The registry provides certainty to the public about the type of information that is available. This will allow the public to access the information in a more consistent, timely and efficient manner
A licence of occupation is a form of mining tenure issued under the Mining Act. While the authority to issue licences of occupation still exists, they are generally no longer issued and are considered legacy forms of tenure. Historically, if a mining claim was covered partially by water, a licence of occupation was granted for the water area of the claim, as patents typically could not include the water portion. These mining licences of occupation were granted to give the holder of that licence the right to dig for and excavate minerals from under the bed of the water. Each licence of occupation has specific terms that grant the holders certain rights.
The new Mining Act sections are expected to be proclaimed once the licence of occupation registry is developed and is ready to launch. Potential amendments to related regulations will be completed in the upcoming months.
Analysis of Regulatory Impact:
By including information on licences of occupation in a public registry, the burden to request this information from the Provincial Recording Office is removed.
• Requesters currently pay a fee of $15/hour for ministry staff to gather the information and produce a report. The Ministry typically receives approximately 10 requests per month, an estimation in savings annually of $1800.
• For companies or financiers doing due diligence into potential acquisitions or financings, transactional costs would be reduced.
There is no expected increase or reduction of regulatory compliance requirements anticipated with the proposed amendments.
April 20, 2021
Summary of Proposal:
The Provincial Recording Office maintains a mining claims registry that includes records, maps and information about mining claims and claim holders. This registry is accessible to the public through MLAS.
Currently, however, there is no similar registry for licences of occupation. In order to access the information that the Ministry holds about licences of occupation, the public must make a written request to the Provincial Recording Office or physically attend at an office.
Industry representatives have asked for this information to be more easily accessible in a similar way as mining claim information currently is.
Licences of occupation include:
• Mining licences of occupation (MLO), which are licences that allow for the extraction of minerals located under beds of water.
• Exploratory licences of occupation (ELO), which are licences that allow for the exploration of tracts of land and/or land under water.
The process for issuing licences of occupation under the existing Mining Act regime requires the approval of the Lieutenant Governor in Council. They are generally issued to allow for exploration for minerals in areas that are not open to claim registration.
• The creation of a public registry would allow the public to access this information directly themselves, like they can for mining claims.
The public registry would provide certainty to the public about the type of information that is available. It would allow the public to access the information in a more consistent, timely and efficient manner and assist research undertaken about Ontario's mineral industry.
Establishing this public registry requires amendments to the Mining Act and potentially regulations thereunder. The amendments will likely be similar to the existing provisions that provide the authority for the mining claims registry.
Royal Assent Date:
June 3, 2021