Online map selection of mineral claims in Nunavut

On this page

  1. How Nunavut Map Selection works
  2. What are the grid units based on
  3. Start date for map selection of mineral claims in Nunavut
  4. How existing mineral claims and mining leases were affected by the regulatory amendments allowing for map selection
  5. Why CIRNAC requires mandatory conversion and does not allow for the maintenance of existing ground staked claims
  6. How the regulatory amendments affect prospecting permits
  7. How the regulatory amendments affect licences to prospect
  8. How the online Nunavut Map Selection system affects management of minerals claims, licenses to prospect and mining leases
  9. The regulatory amendments and the royalties provisions
  10. How the regulatory amendments affect the administrative fees (Schedule 1)
  11. The regulatory amendments and reporting on work requirements (Schedule 2)
  12. How the regulatory amendments allowing for map selection affect the business costs
  13. The Nunavut Map Selection system and digital visualization of a claim

How Nunavut Map Selection works

Nunavut Map Selection is a computer system replacing ground staking of mineral claims with an online selection of mineral claims on a map of Nunavut. The new "unit claims" are made of a collection of contiguous units selected from a predefined grid.

What are the grid units based on

The grid of units used for map selection is described in Schedule 3 of the amended Nunavut Mining Regulations (2020). It is identical to the grid described in the Canada Oil and Gas Land Regulations. The minimum size of a claim is one unit of 15 to 25 hectares. The size depends on where the unit is located in the territory. The average size of a unit is 18 hectares. The most a user may select is 100 units. The grid used for the online map selection of claims in Nunavut is available on the Nunavut Map Viewer.

A shapefile of the grid can be downloaded from the Natural Resources Canada website or can be visualized using the Nunavut Map Viewer. The new Nunavut Map Viewer and spatial data concerning mining rights are available to the public since April 2015. The spatial data can be accessed through the open data portal.

Start date for map selection of mineral claims in Nunavut

The final deployment of the Nunavut Map Selection system is planned for January 30, 2021.

How existing mineral claims and mining leases were affected by the regulatory amendments allowing for map selection

All existing mining rights were maintained and transitory measures were put in place on November 1st 2020 when the amended Nunavut Mining Regulations, came into force.

On the 91st day (January 30, 2021) beginning on the day on which the amended regulations (2020) come into force, these regulations establish a mandatory one-time conversion of ground staked claims to grid-based claims called "unit claims". Unit claims are depicted on the Nunavut Map Viewer.

Claims subject to mining leases existing before January 30, 2021 will not be converted. Mining leases retain their limits as defined by the leased claim's legal plan of survey.

There is no more reduction of claims on the ground by staking using reduced area tags. The reduction of the area of existing leases of ground staked claims is not allowed anymore. However, it is possible to reduce unit claims once a year or leases of unit claims on renewal by simply removing units from the claims using the online Nunavut Map Selection system.

Why CIRNAC requires mandatory conversion and does not allow for the maintenance of existing ground staked claims

After weighing the pros and cons of an optional conversion, CIRNAC determined it would not be internally sustainable from administrative and technical points of view. Optional conversion, would require 2 regimes of mining rights administration to be maintained in parallel, one for ground claims and one for new unit claims. This would be a much more complex regulatory framework.

The approach where all ground claims are converted into unit claims simplifies the regulations while maintaining the rights of existing claim holders.

How the regulatory amendments affect prospecting permits

The amended Nunavut Mining Regulations (2020) repeal the provisions of the former Nunavut Mining Regulations (2014) related to acquiring new prospecting permits.You will no longer have the opportunity to apply for a prospecting permit.

The plan is to follow the existing prospecting permits life cycle in the former regulations (2014). This means these permits are allowed to exist until they expire, so long as the requirements of the former regulations (2014) regarding prospecting permits are satisfied. If you own a prospecting permit, you are able to select unit claims within the permit zone as long as you have confirmation that at least $0.25 per hectare of work has been done on the permit area.

How the regulatory amendments affect licences to prospect

You still need a valid licence to prospect on Crown lands and for specific transactions on mining rights under the amended regulations (2020).

The fee for a licence to prospect remains at $5/year for an individual and $50/year for a corporation. The period of validity of a licence issued under the former regulations (2014) is maintained under the amended regulations and the licence continues to have to be renewed annually. Renewal is free of charge.

How the online Nunavut Map Selection system affects management of minerals claims, licenses to prospect and mining leases

The Nunavut Map Selection system allows users to manage their own tenures online, including licences to prospect, mineral claims and mining leases.

Most transactions continue to require approval from the Mining Recorder's Office.

Mining rights owners may assign a person to complete any specific task on their behalf.

All authorizations, with the exception of the mining leases, are delivered through the system.

The regulatory amendments and the royalties provisions

There is no change to the royalties sections.

How the regulatory amendments affect the administrative fees (Schedule 1)

There is no added categories or increase of Schedule 1 administrative fees.

As most of the transactions on mining rights are automated, the following administrative fees are eliminated:

The regulatory amendments and reporting on work requirements (Schedule 2)

No substantive amendments are made to the Schedule 2 provisions dealing with the reporting on work requirements.

The "cost of work" exclusion list has been modified. It now excludes the portion of cost of environmental baseline studies conducted in conjunction with geological field work that exceeds 10% of the cost of that geological work. There was no limit to the cost of environmental baseline studies that could be reported under the former regulations (2014). This change of policy aims at enhancing the collection of geological information in Nunavut.

How the regulatory amendments allowing for map selection affect the business costs

It is expected that there will be a net cost savings to implementing online map selection. Most of the savings are attributed to removing the requirement to physically stake a mineral claim.

The regulatory modifications include adjusting the cost of work requirements to account for inflation and move from a per hectare calculation to a per unit calculation of the claim size. This means that selecting a unit-based claim online requires an upfront, refundable work deposit of $45 per unit or partial unit. A full sized ground staked claim of 1,250 hectares presently equals approximately 80 units, depending on where it is located in Nunavut. This unit claim would cost $3,600, which is fully refundable upon submission of your first complete report of work at the end of year 2.

The current work rate is $10 per hectare for the first 2 years of the claim and $5 per hectare for the remaining years. The following table breaks down the new unit based work requirements for each year of the life of a claim into the equivalent per hectare rate for comparison.

Year Work charge rate per unit or partial unit Per hectare work charge rate (assuming an average of 18 hectares per unit)
1 $45.00 $2.50
2 $90.00 $5.00
3 $90.00 $5.00
4 $90.00 $5.00
5 to 7 $135.00 $7.50
8 to 10 $180.00 $10.00
11 to 20 $225.00 $12.50
21 to 30 $270.00 $15.00

The Nunavut Map Selection system and digital visualization of a claim

The amended regulations (2020) provide that all existing mining claims are converted into unit claims based on the grid on January 30, 2021, after the 90-day transition period starting when the regulations come into force on November 1st, 2020. The spatial conversion is based on the geographical coordinates that the Mining Recorder's Office previously stored for your claims. These have been digitized from the claim sketches that were submitted with your applications to record claims.

The location of your mining rights can be visualized through the Nunavut Map Viewer. It shows the official positioning of the claim on the grid. Note that under law, the only person who can determine the exact location of a mineral claim boundary on Crown lands in Nunavut is a Canada Lands Surveyor. If it is important to know the precise location of the boundary, please obtain a mineral claim survey.

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