Summary of regulatory amendments to the Nunavut Mining Regulations (2020) allowing for online map selection of mineral claims in Nunavut

  Former Nunavut Mining Regulations (2014)Nunavut Mining Regulations (2020)
1. Land that can be staked is determined by the regulations without visible boundaries on the ground. Only units identified on a grid described in the amended regulations and based on the Canada Oil and Gas Land Regulations are available for selection as part of a claim to be recorded using the web-based Nunavut Map Selection System.

The grid can be visualized using the Nunavut Map Viewer which provides access to spatial data covering Nunavut.
2. Paper documents are considered official registry. Electronic data and paper documents are considered official registry.
3. Applications, notices, forms and other documents are in paper format and sent by mail or filed in person at the Mining Recorder's Office. Royalty returns are sent to the Chief by mail. Applications and documents, with the exception of reports of work and royalty returns and their supporting documents, are submitted online.
4. Payments must be mailed, credit card information can be taken over the telephone or payments in person at the counter of the Mining Recorder's Office are accepted. Royalty payments are paid by checks or through wire transfers to Public Works and Government Services Canada. The online payments with a credit or debit card are the only accepted modes of payment except for the royalty payments which will continue to be paid by check or wire transfer.
5. Administrative fees are required for items listed in Schedule 1 of the regulations. Administrative fees for the following items are repealed:
  • duplicate or renewal of a licence ($2,00)
  • claim and reduced-area claim tags ($2.00)
  • application to record a claim or reduced-area claim ($0.25/hectare)
  • Fees for submitting reports on work on claims (certificate of work) ($0,25/hectare)
  • application for extension to do work, and request to cancel the recording of a claim ($10.00)
The other fees are retained and the amounts will remain unchanged.
6.   A 90 day period dedicated to the transition from the old to the new regime is in place beginning on the CIF of the amended regulations. Prospecting is authorized, but staking or selection of units as claims is not allowed during that period.

Pending applications prior to CIF made in accordance with the Nunavut Mining Regulations (2014) are processed, except for prospecting permit applications.

Existing holders of claims or leased claims are able to continue to manage their existing mining rights except that itis not possible to:
  • apply for a mining lease
  • transfer or acquire an interest in a claim
  • report on work
  • apply for a reduced area claim or leased claim
7.   On the 91st day after CIF, all ground staked claims in existence on the day before CIF are re-recorded and converted to the grid-based claims (unit claims) depicted on a map, with the exception of leased claims.

Subsequently, the recording date of each converted claim is modified to the day that, following the 90-day transitional period, has the same day and the same month as the initial recording date of the claim before conversion. The modified recording date of the converted claim marks the beginning of its new 30-year duration.

As part of this conversion process, existing claims that occupy a portion of a unit where the remaining area is open Crown land are expanded to fill the entire unit.

Where a unit is occupied by more than one claim, the claim that was staked first and that is contiguous to the open Crown land is expanded to fill the unoccupied portion of the unit. If none of the claims are contiguous to the open Crown land, the claim that was staked first, regardless of contiguity, is expanded.

Following conversion, claim groupings are maintained. If there is excess unallocated cost of work on a converted claim, the excess is allocated forward at the request of the claim holder. The new cost of work obligations apply. However, excess cost of work is not allocated until the recording date of the converted claim is modified.
8. A prospecting licence is required to prospect, apply to record a claim, accept a transfer or assignment of a mineral title, submit an application for a certificate of work or certificate of extension, and acquire a mining lease.

The licence is renewable annually for a small fee ($5 for an individual and $50 for a corporation).
A prospecting licence is required to perform the following activities:
  • prospect
  • apply to record a claim and submit other applications in respect of a claim or a mining lease
  • acquire a recorded claim, a mining lease or an interest in either of them through a transfer
  • receive a certificate of work or a certificate of extension
The licence is not modified.
9. Prospecting permits are allowed. Prospecting permit applications are not accepted.

Prospecting permit provisions are retained until permits that existed before CIF expire or are cancelled.

Permittees continue to have the exclusive right to submit an application to record a claim within the permit zone. The claim is made of units selected on the map.
10. The application to record a claim must be filed within 60 days after the date on which the staking is completed.

A refundable work charge is not required when applying to record a claim.

Claims are recorded by the Mining Recorder as soon as practicable after the 60th day following the day on which the staking is completed. The recording date is considered to be the date that the application is received at the Mining Recorder's Office.
The application to record a claim is made using the web-based Nunavut Map Selection System.

A refundable work charge is required when applying to record a claim. The charge is equal to the first year's work charge of $45 per unit or partial unit ($2.50 per hectare for an average unit of 18 hectares). This concept is similar to refundable work charges for the existing prospecting permit process.

A claim is recorded immediately upon payment of the refundable work charge.
11. Wooden posts, trees, mounds of stones and metal tags are used to identify land as a claim. A claim is no longer physically identified on the land. Instead, it is displayed on the Nunavut Map Viewer.
12. Minimum area of a claim: 25 hectares

Maximum area of a claim: 1,250 hectares

Shape of a claim: rectangular
Area of units: between 10 and 25 hectares, depending on the location, with an average of 18 hectares.

Minimum size of a claim: 1 unit
Maximum size of a claim: 100 units

Within a claim, each selected unit have to be contiguous to another selected unit. An unselected unit must not be enclosed within a claim.
13. Consent from the Designated Inuit Organization to access Inuit Owned Land is required to prospect or stake a claim to Crown owned mining rights on those lands, unless witness posts can be planted on neighboring land. Consent from the Designated Inuit Organization continues to be required to prospect on Inuit Owned Lands, where the Crown owns the mining rights on those lands, because physical access is necessary. However, physical access to those lands is not necessary to record a claim because staking is no longer required. Therefore consent for access prior to recording a claim is not necessary.
14. To reduce the area of a claim, the claim holder must have done at least 2 years' worth of work ($10 per hectare) on that claim.

When reducing the area of a claim, the reduced claim must be staked using special reduced area tags.

The area excluded from the original claim is reopened for prospecting and staking at noon on the day following the first business day after the day of which the claim is reduced.
To reduce the area of a claim, the claim holder needs to have done at least 2 years' worth of work ($135 per unit or partial unit in the claim). Each units in the reduced claim has to be contiguous and not enclose a unit that is not included in that claim.

The claim holder has the ability to reduce the area of a claim once a year by selecting the units to be removed. Reduced-area tags are no longer available.

The units that are removed will be available to be selected as a claim on the day that is 31 days beginning on the day on which the reduced claim is recorded, unless multiple claims occupy portions of the unit. In that case, the claim that is staked first and that is contiguous to the newly available portion w is expanded to fill that portion. If none of the claims are contiguous to the available area, the claim that is staked first, regardless of contiguity, is expanded.
15. It is not possible to change the anniversary date of a claim. The holder of a claim recorded under the amended regulations has the ability, during the year following the recording of the claim and only once to choose a new anniversary date to establish, for example, common anniversary dates between various claims. The chosen date must fall within that year. However, if a certificate of work is issued, it is not possible to change the anniversary date of that claim.
16. Annual work charges to maintain a claim:
  • First two year period: $10 per hectare
  • Years 3 to 10: $5 per hectare
Annual work charges to maintain a claim per unit or partial unit:
  • Year 1: $45
  • Year 2: $90
  • Year 3: $90
  • Year 4: $90
  • Year 5 to 7: $135
  • Year 8 to 10: $180
  • Year 11 to 20: $225
  • Year 21 to 30: $270
17. The definition of "cost of work" includes a list of costs that do not contribute to fulfill the work requirements for a claim. Costs of environmental baseline studies – done in conjunction with geological field work – that exceed 10% of the cost of that work is added to the list of unacceptable costs. Therefore, it is no longer possible for environmental baseline studies to be credited to their full amount in order to satisfy the work requirements.
18. Reports on work done over multiple years are accepted. Claim holders are allowed to report on work done in the 4 years prior to the filing of the report. However, a report can only cover work done over a 12 month period.
19. The recording of a claim is cancelled if no work has been reported for a year and no certificate of extension was issued. A maximum of 3 certificates of extension can be issued for a claim.

The recording of a claim is cancelled upon the issuance of a third certificate of work indicating that the cost of work is less than the required amount.

It is possible to pay in lieu of work for any year of a claim.

Payments in lieu of work are refundable, upon completion of the required work.
The recording of a claim is cancelled when a certificate of insufficient work is issued with respect to that claim if five certificates of extension have been issued with respect to that claim after the coming into force of the amended regulations.

It is not possible to pay in lieu of work for the first year of a converted claim or for the first two years of a claim recorded under the amended regulations.

Payments in lieu of work are refundable, upon completion of the required work.
20. Claims can be grouped if they are contiguous and the total area of the group does not exceed 5,000 hectares. It is possible to group claims if they are contiguous and the total number of units in the group does not exceed 400 (equivalent to four claims of maximum size or approximately 7,200 hectares). The grouping must not result in the enclosure of a unit that is not part of the grouped claims.
21. The recording of a claim may be cancelled for various reasons identified in the regulations. As ground staking is replaced with map selection of claims online, the recording of a claim e is not cancelled anymore because the claim holder did not receive authorization to stake from the surface rights holder.
22. Lands on which the recording of a claim was cancelled are reopened for prospecting and staking at different times depending on the reason for the cancellation. All lands on which the recording of a claim was cancelled are reopened for prospecting and selection of units as a claim after 30 days following the cancellation unless:
  • the Minister delays the reopening because there are grounds to believe that there is unremedied environmental damage to the land, or
  • a ministerial review related to the cancellation of the recording of the claim is pending
However, if the lands were covered by a prospecting permit that expires or is cancelled, the lands are reopened for prospecting and selection of units as a claim at noon on the day following the first business day after the day on which the permit expired or was cancelled.

For the year following the cancellation of the recording of the original claim, the former lessee and any person related to the former lessee are not permitted to apply to record a claim that includes any unit that was contained in the original claim or acquire a legal or beneficial interest in respect of that claim.
23. It is possible to submit an application for a mining lease with respect to a claim before the end of its 9th year.
  • if an application is not submitted before the end of its 9th year, the claim is cancelled at that moment
  • if an application is submitted before the end of its 9th year, the claim is cancelled at the end of the 10th year unless a mining lease is issued
It is be possible to submit an application for a mining lease with respect to a claim before the end of its 29th year.
  • if an application is not submitted before the end of its 29th year, the claim is cancelled at that moment
  • if an application is submitted before the end of its 29th year, the claim is cancelled at the end of the 30th year unless a mining lease is issued
24. To obtain a mining lease:
  • costs of work of at least $25 per hectare must have been allocated to the claim to be leased, which represents 5 years' worth of work. The non-geological work included in that amount must not exceed $5 per hectare
  • a plan of survey of the claim must have been made, and
  • the rent for the first year of the lease must have been paid
The criteria for leasing claims is retained, except for the cost of work requirements. A minimum of $1,260 per unit or partial unit in the claim, which represents 10 years' worth of work, is required. The non-geological work included in that amount must not exceed $250 per unit or partial unit.
25. The leasing of multiple contiguous claims is allowed. It is not be possible to lease multiple claims.
26. A plan of survey of the claim covered by a lease is required.

The survey is based on the location of the legal posts marking the boundaries of the claim on the ground. The sketch illustrating the claim location, provided with the application to record, is used where posts are missing.

A report on any overlap of boundaries between the surveyed claim and any other claim must be provided by the lease applicant.
A plan of survey of the leased claim is still required to obtain a lease. It will mark, on the land, the claim boundaries using the geographical coordinates from the map.

Legal posts on the ground are not taken into consideration during the survey of a claim that existed before CIF.

As overlap with other claims is not possible with map selection, the requirement to provide reports on overlaps is repealed.
27. The mining lease applicant must send a notice, in the prescribed form, to the holders of the adjacent claims or leased claims to inform them of the leasing. The requirement to send a notice is extended to the surface rights holders if the surveyed claim, subject to the lease application, is located partly or totally on their lands is contiguous to those lands.
28. Annual rent for a mining lease:
  • $2,50 per hectare for the first term
  • $5,00 per hectare for subsequent terms
Annual rent for a mining lease: $10 per hectare (which corresponds to $180 per unit for a unit having an averaged area of 18 hectares).

The rental amounts prescribed under the Nunavut Mining Regulations (2014) continues to apply to leases that were issued under those regulations until the end of their term.
29. A mining lease has a term of 21 years and is renewable.

The reduction of the area of a mining lease can occur at renewal by staking the reduced area of the leased claim and submitting a plan of survey of the new boundaries.
A mining lease continues to have a 21-year term and is still renewable.

The ability to reduce the area of mining leases under the Nunavut Mining Regulations (2014) is repealed.

However, it is possible to reduce the area of a mining lease issued under the amended regulations, at the time of its renewal, by reducing the number of units from the leased claim at renewal time.

The deadline to apply for a lease renewal with a request to reduce the area of the leased claim is one year before the end of the term of the lease. A survey of the reduced leased claim boundaries is still required.

 

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