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Things to know

  • Under Canada’s constitution, responsibility for mining in Canada is shared between the Canadian federal government and the provincial and territorial governments. 
  • In general, provincial and territorial governments have exclusive jurisdiction over mineral exploration, development, conservation and management within its territory.
    • Mineral titles vary both by province and stage of project, from exploration through development, mining and remediation
    • Mineral title interests do not necessarily equate an interest in surface rights, which are acquired separately (if required)
  • The Canadian federal government has exclusive jurisdiction over uranium development, foreign investment, extractive sector transparency disclosure and corruption.
  • The federal and provincial/territorial governments share jurisdiction over a limited number of areas, including the environment and taxation.
  • The Canadian constitution recognises aboriginal and treaty rights and Canadian courts have imposed a general duty to consult on the federal and provincial governments with any aboriginal group whose aboriginal and treaty rights may be affected by a governmental decision, including the grant of permits or licences relating to mining activity. The duty has generally been delegated to mining project proponents.
  • Disclosure about a mineral project made available to the public in Canada (including oral or written disclosure, whether in presentations to prospective investors or disclosure on a company website) is governed by applicable Canadian securities laws under National Instrument 43-101 – Standards of Disclosure in Mineral Projects – this applies to both reporting issuers (public companies) and private companies making disclosure to the public.

Things to do

  • Search applicable mineral title registries to conduct a due diligence review on a prospective mineral property, but beware that mineral title registries are notice-based registries and encumbrances on title may be valid even if unregistered.
  • Access publicly available geoscience studies and databases that are sponsored by government bodies to promote mining activity in Canada
  • Review corporate registration in the jurisdiction in which the mineral property is located, as registration is required to hold mineral tenure. 
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