Consideration for Mining Land Tax Exemptions

Policy: G.A. 302-2

Date Issued: February 2, 2011

Mining Act R.S.O. 1990, Subsection 189 (1.1)

Purpose

Privately owned freehold property in Ontario that was originally granted by the Crown for mining purposes (as mining lands) is subject to mining land tax. Generally Crown patents for mining lands were granted with the expectation that the lands would be used for mining purposes. However, some of these patented mining lands currently and historically have been used for non-mining purposes such as tourism, recreation, farming, private residences etc. This policy explains how these sorts of patented mining lands may be exempted from the mining land tax pursuant to subsection 189(1.1) of the Mining Act.

Policy

A registered owner of mining lands who is paying mining land tax because the property was originally patented by the Crown as mining land for mining purposes may apply to the Minister for an exemption from the mining land tax provided:

A signed and complete Application for Exemption from Mining Land Tax (#0298) and payment of all outstanding taxes and interest are required for the Minister to further consider the request. There is no fee for making an application. The Minister evaluates each application on its own merit before approving or refusing the request. Approving or refusing the request is the Minister’s decision, which is final. If the application is refused, reasons will be provided in writing.

In evaluating the application the Minister takes the following criteria into account:

  1. Land Use: Whether there is evidence satisfactory to the Minister that the lands and mining rights currently are not being used for mining purposes, and that the property owner does not intend to permit their use in future for mining purposes.  To that end, the applicant is required to certify the application form. 
  2. Mineral Potential:  Whether the lands have significant mineral potential. The Minister makes determination of the mineral potential based on expert analysis and advice provided by the Ontario Geological Survey. 
  3. Mine Hazards/ Rehabilitation concerns: The proponent is asked to identify and describe any known mine hazards or other rehabilitation concerns relating to the land. The Minister may check the applicant’s description against the Ministry’s Abandoned Mines Information System (AMIS). If there are mine hazards or other rehabilitation concerns, the Minister could advise the proponent to address these concerns before further considering the application for the tax exemption. 
  4. Area of the Land: The Minister shall consider the size of the land and any contiguous lands owned by the same property owner.

Notes:

  1. If exemption from mining land tax is approved; the property in question will be removed from the mining land tax record as of January 1st following the date that a complete application is accepted by the Provincial Tax Coordinator.
  2. Removal of land from the mining land tax record may invoke liability to taxation from other taxing authorities.

Change in use of the land:  If a registered owner of the mining land or mining rights that have been exempted from mining land tax under this provision of the Mining Act intends to use the land for mining purposes, the owner must notify the Minister in writing of the intended change at least 30 days before the date the lands are first used for mining purposes. The exemption from tax is revoked on the first date the land is to be used for mining purposes.

Definitions

For the purposes of Part XIII of the Mining Act, areas being used for “mining purposes” include:

Mining Act

Lands liable for tax

189. (1) Except as provided in this Part,

  1. all lands and mining rights in territory without municipal organization patented under or pursuant to any statute, regulation or law at any time in force authorizing the granting of Crown lands for mining purposes;
  2. all land in territory without municipal organization being held or used for mining purposes howsoever patented or alienated from the Crown;
  3. all mining rights in, upon or under lands in a municipality patented under or pursuant to any statute, regulation or law at any time in force authorizing the granting of Crown lands for mining purposes;
  4. all mining rights in, upon or under land in a municipality and being held or used for mining purposes howsoever patented or alienated from the Crown; and
  5. all mining rights howsoever patented or acquired which are severed from or held apart or separate from the surface rights,
    are liable for, and the owner thereof shall pay, the tax. R.S.O. 1990, c. M.14, s. 189 (1); 2009, c. 21, s. 90 (1).

(1.1)  Where lands or mining rights described in clause (1) (a) or (c) are not used for mining purposes, and there are no existing mining claims, leases or licences of occupation for the lands, the registered owner of the lands or mining rights may apply to the Minister for an exemption from the tax under this Part and the Minister may grant an exemption taking into account the following criteria

  1. Whether there is evidence satisfactory to the Minister that the lands and mining rights currently are not being used for mining purposes, and that the applicant does not intend to permit their use in future for mining purposes.
  2. Whether the lands have provincially significant mineral potential.
  3. Whether there are mine hazards or other rehabilitation concerns relating to the lands.
  4. The area of the lands.

(1.2) Change in use:  If an owner of land that has been exempted from tax under subsection (1.1) intends to use the land for mining purposes, the owner shall notify the Minister of the intended change in use of the lands in the prescribed manner and at least the prescribed number of days before the date the lands are first used for mining purposes, and the exemption from tax is revoked on that date.

(1.3) Decision of Minster Final: The decision of the Minister under subsection (1.1) or (1.2) is final.