Guidelines for Assessment Reports: Nunavut Mining Regulations

February 12, 2021

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Two men studying rock formations on a mountain-side

Introduction

These guidelines are presented as a plain-language summary of the requirements for submitting assessment reports to the Mining Recorder under the Nunavut Mining Regulations (NMR), and to assist report authors in filing reports that are accurate and complete according to the NMR.

This document is to be referred to in conjunction with the amended NMR, which came into force November 1, 2020. It is not intended as a substitute for the regulations.

Mineral tenure licensees who hold rights to one or more mineral claims must perform work in order to keep those rights. This work must be documented in reports which meet the criteria in the NMR and in Schedule 2 of those regulations.

For further information about mineral tenure management in Nunavut, please visit the website of the Nunavut Mining Recorder's Office (MRO).

The term ‘assessment report' is used throughout these guidelines to refer to the work reports required by the NMR, as that is the most familiar industry term. ‘Assessment report' can be read interchangeably with the term ‘report of work' used in the regulations.

The assessment report process

Assessment reports that document work completed on mineral claims located on Crown land are filed with the Mining Recorder for Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada (CIRNAC) in Nunavut.

The intent of filing these reports is to assign the cost of the work completed on the mineral claim to fulfill the work requirement set out in the NMR. The reports must be submitted with the relevant forms as required by the MRO. Forms related to mineral tenure in Nunavut can be found at Forms: The North, Mineral Rights and Mining Royalty.

Mineral Resources Division geologists at CIRNAC's Nunavut Regional Office review assessment reports as they are received from the MRO. The division has an internal service standard of 90 days for completion of reviews, starting from the date the reports are received from the Mining Recorder. If the reviewing geologist finds that there are areas in which a report does not comply with the NMR, they will send a letter to the report's author indicating what content needs to be revised; the author then has 4 months from the date of the review letter to submit revisions to the reviewing geologist. On receipt of those revisions, the reviewing geologist will determine if they are sufficient to bring the report into compliance with the NMR.

Once the reviewing geologist has assessed the compliance of the report with the NMR requirements and determined the costs of work to be entered into the certificate of work, that amount is reported to the Mining Recorder so that the approved cost of work can be allocated to the mineral claim(s) being reported on. The reviewing geologist will contact the report author to indicate the final cost of work that has been approved for that report.

The information contained in these reports serves to justify the expenses being claimed on mineral claims. The information is released to the public after a 3 year confidentiality period. This industry-generated geoscience information, when combined with data released from government and academic research, contributes to the geological knowledge of the territory of Nunavut, and informs exploration and investment decisions. Released reports are hosted on NunavutGeoscience.ca.

Determining "cost of work"

For expenditures to qualify as a "cost of work" they must fall into the categories listed in the definition of "work" in the NMR. Please see NMR section 1 (1) for definitions of "cost of work" and "work".

As per the definition of "cost of work," the following expenditures are not considered "work":

Please do not include receipts, invoices, or other similar documentation with the report. Those items will be requested if necessary. Any costs that the reviewing geologist considers to be excessive in relation to the work being reported on will be subject to further inquiry.

The intent of the NMR is for exploration work to be done on specific mineral claims and for the associated expenditures to be applied to those mineral claims. Costs incurred in support of this work, for example food, accommodations or supplies, must be applied based on the amount of work done on the mineral claims and cannot be allocated globally to all mineral claims in a property. Work must be done on a claim in order for costs of work to be applied to it, except in the case of grouping as per section 45 of the NMR.

In short, just because money is spent on an exploration project in Nunavut does not mean that the full amount spent will be approved as a "cost of work."

Expenditures must meet the definition of "work" as it is set out in the NMR, and those expenditures that do not qualify as "work" will not be approved. Report authors with questions about whether an expense not listed above meets the definition of "work" can contact the geologists in the Mineral Resources Division at CIRNAC's Nunavut Regional Office by email at: minerauxnu-mineralsnu@rcaanc-cirnac.gc.ca

A man standing on by a stream on a mountain-side

Submitting an assessment report

When submitted to the MRO, both assessment reports and simplified assessment reports must contain all administrative documentation as required by the Mining Recorder. For submission of Statements of Expenditures, we recommend using the Statement of Expenditures template (MS Excel, 21 KB) provided. The assessment report itself must include all information necessary to support the expenditures being claimed as a "cost of work," as well as any appendices required for the report, for example maps, raw geophysical data, assay certificates and contractors' reports. Specific criteria for the reports are discussed in the sections below.

Under paragraph 42(4)(b) of the NMR, assessment reports must be signed off by a Qualified Person who is registered with the Northwest Territories and Nunavut Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists (NAPEG). The Nunavut MRO cannot accept reports of work which have been signed off by Qualified Persons registered in other jurisdictions. Please contact the MRO for more information. Details on registering with the association can be found on the NAPEG website. Note that this requirement does not apply to "simplified assessment reports", which must be signed by the individual who performed or supervised the work. Simplified reports may be submitted under the requirements set out in NMR S.42 (1), S.42 (4), and Part 2 of Schedule 2, S.17. These reports deal only with excavation, sampling or the examination of outcrops and surficial deposits, or any combination of these, for which the cost of the work is less than $20,000. A more specific document intended for prospectors who might prepare simplified reports is available: The Simplified Report: a guide for Nunavut prospectors.

Report submission

All assessment reports should be submitted to the following address:

Attn: Mining Recorder
Nunavut Regional Office
Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada
Bldg 969, PO Box 100
Iqaluit, NU X0A 0H0

Report authors with further questions about the submission process may reach the MRO at 867-975-4281, or by email at aadnc.registraireminierscn-miningrecordersnms.aandc@canada.ca.

Writing an assessment report

Assessment reports and simplified assessment reports should include clear, detailed information on the following:

Each assessment report must focus on:

The first work report submitted for a project may cover up to 2 years of work. Discussion of previous work done on a property should be limited to a brief summary of a page or 2. Whenever possible, it is better to provide a concise summary and a reference that interested readers may access for more complete information than to provide an extensive description of work that was completed in the past.

Hard copy report submission

Hard copies of assessment reports must be bound, and must be typewritten or printed on 8.5"x 11" paper. They may not be handwritten. Larger pages, such as maps, diagrams, sections or spreadsheets printed on 11"x 17" paper are acceptable provided 1 full edge is securely bound into the report and the page is folded to fit.

Larger format maps or figures which have not been bound into the report must be folded and placed in pockets, envelopes, plastic sleeves, or other suitable holders which are bound into the report. Loose maps are not acceptable. All hard copy reports are scanned for digital archiving, and the available hardware is only able to scan maps up to 110 cm (44 inches) wide. As such, printed maps are requested to be no wider than 110 cm (44 inches).

All the text, figures and tables in a report must be legible. This includes items such as:

If the reviewing geologist cannot make out information in the report, or if the information will not scan clearly for digital archiving, revised versions of content that is legible will be requested.

11-point font is recommended for text and minimum 6-point font is recommended for the smallest labels in figures or maps. The minimum recommended print resolution setting is 300 dpi for text and 600 dpi for figures. Maps, sections and diagrams inserted as figures should be in colour where appropriate, and at sufficient resolution to ensure legibility.

If CDs, DVDs, USB sticks or other storage media containing raw data are submitted with hard copy reports, they must be attached to the report in some fashion and not submitted loosely. Each piece of storage media must be labeled with the company name, project name, report date and the number of pieces being submitted, for example 'Disc 1 of 3'. NMR Sch. 2, s 3(1)(j)

A mountain-side with large boulders

Electronic format report submission

Under the NMR assessment reports may be submitted in electronic format. However the Nunavut MRO is unable to accept electronic-format assessment reports via email because the secure transfer of confidential report files cannot be guaranteed.

Electronic copies of assessment reports must be submitted in a format that can be read using the Mining Recorder's computer systems. Please submit reports in press quality PDF format on physical storage media, such as CDs, DVDs, USB sticks or external hard drives. Press quality PDFs can be created with Adobe PDFMaker or Acrobat Distiller. The converter has a "PDF Settings" dialogue box in which "Press Settings" can be selected. All submitted storage media must be labeled with the company name, project name, report date and with the number of pieces being submitted, for example 'Disc 1 of 3'. NMR Sch. 2, s 3(1)(j)

Images and maps in the report should be in colour whenever appropriate. As with paper reports, all maps, figures and diagrams should be produced at a resolution of at least 300 dpi. 600 dpi is preferred to preserve figure and/or picture quality.

PDFs must not be password-protected. Please ensure that the "Security Method" in "Document Properties" is set to "No Security" to enable the insertion of any necessary revisions by the reviewing geologist. Georeferenced PDF documents are acceptable as long as they meet the rest of the requirements set out in Schedule 2 of the NMR.

Content criteria for assessment reports

Title page

Assessment reports must have a title page that includes the following information:

  • the project name
  • claim names and numbers
  • types of work done and the minerals being sought
  • for whom the work was done
  • who completed the work
  • the project's location (using the 4 corner coordinates of its bounding box)
  • the dates during which the work was done
  • the NTS 1:50 000 map sheet number(s) on which the work took place

This title page must be included on each volume of a report if the report has multiple volumes. NMR Sch. 2, s 3(1), s 3(2)

If the report covers multiple small parcels of mineral claims, a single bounding box that encompasses all parcels is sufficient to ensure that there is enough space on the title page for all the required information.

Title page – electronic reports

Reports that are submitted in electronic format must also contain the title page information on a paper cover sheet submitted with the storage media containing the report, or as a 'readme' text file on each piece of storage media submitted. NMR Sch. 2, s 3(2)(b)(i-ii)

Figures

Figures must be numbered so they can be properly referred to in the text, and must include a caption.

Maps

Maps and sections must have:

  • a scale bar
  • a geographic reference (north arrow on maps, view direction on sections)
  • an indication of coordinate system and unit of measurement
  • a coordinate grid
  • an appropriate legend that includes all symbols and colours used on the map or section
  • maps must be in NAD27, NAD83, NAD83 (CSRS), or WGS84 with the datum and zone number (or projection, if applicable) indicated on each map. NMR Sch. 2, s 6(1)-6(3); s 9(1)-9(4)

According to the NMR, several specific maps must be included in an assessment report:

  • a map that shows the boundaries of each mineral claim on which work is being reported and of any adjacent mineral tenure, including those belonging to other licensees. Each claim belonging to the licensee doing the assessment work must be identified with its claim number NMR Sch. 2, s 5(c)(i-iv)
  • a map that shows the area worked in relation to territorial boundaries, including any communities and any regional infrastructure, such as airstrips, camps, docks and winter roads NMR Sch. 2, s 5(b)
  • a map of the regional geology of the project area NMR Sch. 2, s 5(a)
  • one or more maps showing the location of all surface samples, drill holes or other data collection points, with legible identification numbers for each location. Inset maps should be used to display areas with high densities of data points NMR Sch. 2, s 5(d)
  • one or more maps that shows any grids used to perform work, such as sampling grids or ground geophysics traverse grids. Grid coordinates must be included NMR Sch. 2, s 9(2)
  • one or more maps that shows any geochemical or geophysical anomalies, if geochemical or geophysical work was done NMR Sch. 2, s 5(e)

Reference list

A reference list is required for all works cited in the report text, including any maps and figures. The Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences style is recommended for reference lists. When referencing assessment reports, the following format is suggested:

Author last name, initial(s). 2014. Assessment report on the Shiny Objects project. CIRNAC Assessment Report #00001. Report prepared by J. Geologist for Raven Resources Ltd.

Full bibliographies are not required for assessment reports. Please only include sources in the reference list that are directly referenced in the report. NMR Sch. 2, s 4(e)

Appendices

Several appendices are required in assessment reports:

If work on an exploration program was undertaken by contractors such as a geophysics contractor, any contractors' reports must also be submitted, and must include copies of any deliverables provided by the contractor, for example large format maps, raw data and analytical certificates as applicable. NMR Sch. 2, s 16(1)(d)

The Statement of Qualifications should indicate the qualified person's professional affiliation, their place of employment and its location, and a statement declaring that they are an author of the report (as a report may have multiple authors). It must be signed and stamped with the qualified person's official stamp or seal. NMR s 42(4)(b)

A suggested template for the Statement of Qualifications is as follows:

I, (geologist's name), indicate the following:

  1. I am a professional geoscientist affiliated with the Northwest Territories and Nunavut Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists (NAPEG).
  2. I am employed by [company name], headquartered in [name of city or town].
  3. I am an author of this report on the [project name] project.
  4. I supervised the work being reported on in this report.
  5. This report is complete and correct to the best of my knowledge.

The statement must then be signed by the professional geoscientist and state the municipality and province or territory. The statement must be stamped with a NAPEG stamp.

Requirements for specific types of report

Geological report requirements

Geological work reports require a detailed description of the property's geology, including rock types, structural features, and areas of mineralization. The report must include a discussion of all results obtained from the geological work and their relevance to future work on the property. Any geological maps produced from mapping programs must be included.

If prospecting took place, a table of samples along with descriptions and coordinates should be included as well as a map showing traverse locations and a map showing the locations of samples taken. If drilling took place, a map showing the location of each drill hole is required, as well as drill sections and logs. The intervals of core sampled for assay and results of assays on those samples must be identified on each drill section. The location of any stored drill core must also be indicated. NMR, Sch. 2, s 12(a-d), 13(a-e), 14(a-d)

If data compilation or literature review work is done, for example reprocessing of historical geophysical data from work done by a previous operator, the costs associated with that work may be acceptable as an expenditure provided that it leads to a new geological interpretation, a new deposit model, or another similar deliverable. Compilation work whose related expenditures are presented without any new results is not considered acceptable "work" under the NMR.

Geochemical report requirements

The type of geochemical survey performed for example till sampling, grab sampling, stream sediment sampling, lake bed sampling, etc. must be described, including details of the analytical process or processes used on the samples collected. A map showing sample locations is required, as well as any geochemical anomaly maps or profiles produced. Please also include the raw data used to produce these maps and profiles. Cut-off grades should be indicated wherever relevant. A discussion of the survey's results is also required. NMR, Sch. 2, s 15(a-i)

If the geochemical work was done by a contractor, any report produced by that contractor, as well as the data collected and any other hard copy or digital products produced such as maps, profiles, or other products must be submitted with the assessment report. NMR, Sch. 2, s 4(u)

Assay certificates and similar analytical reports must be signed by a qualified person from the accredited lab that performed the analysis and must be submitted with the assessment report. The qualified person's signature must be present on a cover letter that indicates their accreditation and stamp, and/or on each assay certificate.

Geophysical or remote sensing report requirements

The type of geophysical survey performed must be described. For example:

  • airborne magnetic
  • ground magnetic
  • gravity survey
  • hyperspectral remote sensing

A map showing flight or traverse lines and their direction is also required, if applicable, as well as any maps, tracings, or geophysical profiles produced. The raw data used to produce these maps and profiles must also be included. If underground geophysical surveys were performed, the location and orientation of the survey with relation to underground workings must be described. A discussion of the survey's results as it relates to the project is also required. NMR, Sch. 2, s 16(1-5)

If the geophysical work was done by a contractor, any report produced by that contractor, as well as the data collected and any other products produced, either hard copy or digital (e.g. maps, profiles, etc.), must be submitted. NMR, Sch. 2, s 4(u)

If 3D modeling data is submitted it should be accompanied by viewing software that allows the data to be examined.

When submitting reports that include remote sensing work, please include the reference information and metadata for any images used in the report, including time and date taken, and the company from which the images were purchased. The purchase of remotely sensed data is not considered eligible for assessment work credit unless the results of its analysis have been evaluated using methods set out in the definition of "work." NMR 1 (1) "work" (a) (i-vii) The evaluation by another undertaking should clearly set out the findings of the analysis of the remote sensing data, and how the evaluation has confirmed or refuted these findings. For example, if you used remote sensing data to identify gossanous outcrops, these could be evaluated by visiting the identified locations, confirming which identifications are accurate, and then sampling them for geochemistry.

Environmental baseline study requirements

Environmental baseline studies will be accepted as part of assessment work in Nunavut, provided they meet the same criteria that other types of report must meet, for example they include maps, contractors' reports, discussion of results with reference to the project and as long as they are performed in conjunction with other types of assessment work on the same mineral claims. In other words, a baseline study will not be accepted as a cost of work if it is the only type of work being reported on a particular claim during a particular reporting period. These studies must take place as components of a larger field program. Expenses incurred in performing environmental baseline studies that exceed 10% of the total cost of geological work in a report will be excluded as a cost of work. NMR s 1(1)(c), definition of ‘work'; NMR Sch. 2, s 4(t)

Archaeological Studies

When submitting archaeological studies as environmental baseline work, the report must include a description of the work done but exclude reference to the location of archaeological sites. This is intended to avoid any conflict between the confidentiality provisions of the Nunavut Archaeological and Palaeontological Sites Regulations and NMR s 11(2).

Purple Mountain Saxifrage flowers

Criteria for simplified reports

Simplified reports can be submitted when the cost of work for a report totals less than $20,000, and when only excavation, sampling or the examination of outcrops and surficial deposits, or any combination of them, were performed. NMR S.42 (1), (42 (4), Part 2 of Sch. 2, s 2-11, 17(a-c)

For more information on the preparation of simplified reports, please see The Simplified Report: a guide for Nunavut prospectors.

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