Notification of Proposed Exploration Work to Surface Rights Owners

Policy: PP-101-1

Date Issued: November 1, 2012


The Ministry of Northern Development and Mines (MNDM) is committed to ensuring exploration activities are carried out with the appropriate consideration for private landowners' interests. To that end, the Mining Act provides for early engagement between the exploration proponent and the surface rights owners (SRO) following online mining claim registration mining claims and before the early exploration proponent submits an exploration plan or apply for a permit to the Director of Exploration. 

This process provides surface rights owners the opportunity to review and comment on the proposed early exploration work. This policy provides direction to a proponent on the requirements for providing notification to surface rights owners (SRO) about proposed exploration activities affecting their surface rights.



Subsections 6(1) and 13(1) of the Ontario Regulation 308/12 requires an early exploration proponent to provide notice of intent to submit an Exploration Plan or apply for Exploration Permit to surface rights owners associated with the lands on which prescribed early exploration activities are proposed. The notification is to include:


Having provided the notification to SRO, the proponent must provide to director of exploration confirmation that the required notice to all surface rights owners of the mining lands have been provided, when submitting an exploration plan or exploration permit application. The proponent is considered to have provided the confirmation by certifying the Surface Rights Owner Notification section of the forms for Exploration Plan or Exploration Permit Application.

 Failure to provide notification to the SRO and/or to provide the confirmation to the Director renders the application incomplete.

Note: Consultation: The notification provides the surface rights owner opportunity to comment on and raise any concerns he or she might have regarding the proposed exploration activities. The SRO is advised to provide comments, if any, directly to the Director, as well as the proponent.

In deciding whether to approve the early exploration permit application, the director takes into consideration the comments of the SRO, and consultation between the SRO and the proponent to address the concerns, and any arrangements that may have been reached with surface rights owners. A copy of the approved exploration permit is provided to SRO’s who commented and provided contact information.

Notification: How to?

The early proponent is responsible for identifying current surface rights owners of the mining lands on which early exploration projects are being proposed. Once the SRO is identified, the proponent is advised to:

  1. Fill out the Notice of Intent for each of the surface rights owners;
  2. Send or deliver the original copy of the notice and a copy of the Exploration Plan or Exploration Permit Application to all surface rights owners by mail, courier or in person to the last known address of the SRO.

For the purpose of this policy, the last known address should be the most current address that can be found on the following basis:

  1. If the SRO is a corporation, the address for the corporation as indicated by a search of company information from ServiceOntario,
  2. If the SRO is an individual, the address indicated on municipal property tax assessment rolls or on Provincial Land Tax rolls, if that information is available to the licensee and is feasible to obtain,
  3. If neither of the above is applicable, then the address will be the address for the SRO on the transfer or other document by which the SRO obtained ownership of the property. If applicable the Land Transfer Tax affidavit attached to a transfer should be checked, which usually provides an address for the owners and may provide an assessment roll number.

NOTES: The proponent must provide notifications to all of the current surface rights owners every time an early exploration activity for which an Exploration Plan or Exploration Permit Application is required.


Circulation Date
The date on which a Director sends, by whatever means, an exploration plan or an application for an exploration permit to an Aboriginal communitythat the Director has identified for purposes of section 7 or 14;
Director of Exploration appointed under section 78 of the Act
Early Exploration Proponent
A person who is a holder of a mining claim, mining lease or a licence of occupation for mining purposes and is conducting or proposes to conduct early exploration activities and includes,
  1. directors, officers, agents and employees of the early exploration proponent,
  2. partners, subsidiaries and affiliates of the early exploration proponent,
  3. contractors and subcontractors of the early exploration proponent, and
  4. successors and assigns of the early exploration proponents;
Surface Rights Owner
In respect of an area of land, an owner in fee simple of the land, as shown in the appropriate land registry office, who does not own the mining rights for the lands.