Mineral Development and Lands Branch Policies

The COVID-19 outbreak and related public health requirements are special circumstances that have created challenges for all claim holders in Ontario. Given the present uncertainty over when current health and safety measures will ease, we acknowledge that some claim holders may still be having difficulty planning or executing work programs.

The Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines understands that exclusions can help promote public safety, particularly in remote areas, by reducing the need for travel into those areas for exploration purposes. As a result, we will continue to offer claim holders a streamlined process for processing requests for COVID-19-related exclusion of time orders under Ontario’s Mining Act and for all claim holders with claim anniversary dates on or before October 31, 2021. We anticipate that this will be the final extension of the streamlined process for exclusion of time requests and suggest that claimholders plan their work programs accordingly.

Claim holders with claim anniversary dates on or before October 31, 2021, will be given an exclusion order if they make a brief request via email citing COVID-19 as the reason the exclusion order is requested. There is no cost for COVID-19 related exclusion requests.  The exclusion orders will remove the requirement to perform and file assessment work for a period of time of up to 12 months.

We ask that claim holders only apply through this streamlined process if they are experiencing issues completing assessment work due to the effects of COVID-19 and the enhanced public health and workplace safety measures currently in effect for all of Ontario.

To obtain an exclusion order, claim holders or their authorized agents must email the Provincial Recording Office at pro.ndm@ontario.ca no earlier than the 30th day before the anniversary date of your claim and no later than the anniversary date. For more information, please see this bulletin.


The ministry is in the process of reviewing and updating its policies to reflect recent changes to the Mining Act as they relate to the implementation of online mining claim registration and an electronic Mining Lands Administration System (MLAS). Until further notice, visitors should consider this content to be in transition and subject to modifications.

This site contains Mineral Development and Lands Branch policies. These policies are developed to aid clients on implementation of relevant Mining Act provisions and Regulations.

These policies are being reviewed and updated to reflect the recent changes to the Mining Act. As the policies are finalized, they will be posted here. Please check back regularly or contact the Provincial Recording Office for assistance.

Under subsection 35(2) of Ontario's Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, the Ministry is required to make these policies available for public viewing in a reading room or designated office. The Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines has chosen the Internet as the reading room that can reach the widest group of its clients.

Dispute Resolution at Early Exploration

Exclusion of Time: For Performing and/or Filing Assessment Work

Extension of Time: For Assessment Work Due Dates for Mining Claims

Notification of Proposed Exploration Work to Surface Rights Owners

Relief from Forfeiture Unpatented Mining Claims

Reservations: The 120-Metre Shoreline Surface Rights Reservation

Sites of Aboriginal Cultural Significance : Withdrawals and Surface Rights Restrictions

Voluntary Rehabilitation of Mine Hazards