Mining Glossary

The information provided here is explanatory. It is not intended to be used for legal interpretation. Where there is a conflict between this information and the Act, the Act shall prevail.

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Administrator: The administrator is the Assessor of Mineral Land Tax appointed under the Mineral Land Tax Act or other person designated by the minister.

Arm’s Length Agreement: Generally, an arm’s length agreement is one where both parties enter freely and independently and without having a special relationship, such as being relatives, having other dealings together, or one party having control over the other. If you are unsure of whether you have an arm’s length agreement, contact us.

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Co-operator (of a mine): A co-operator of a mine is a person, but not a partnership, that operates a mine in conjunction with others, but does not include those with an arm’s length agreement to receive royalties payable in cash.

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Deemed Fiscal Year End: If there is a change of ownership interest in your mine at any point in your mine’s fiscal year, the ownership change triggers a deemed fiscal year end for the purposes of B.C.'s Mineral Tax Act. Your new fiscal year end date is the day immediately before the transfer of ownership took place. To trigger a deemed fiscal year end, the mine or mine property could have been in commercial production any time during the fiscal year, or at any point during the 84-month period preceding the current fiscal year.

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Freehold Mineral Interest (Rights): Freehold mineral interest refers to the estate or interest of a person, other than the Province, in minerals on or below the surface of mineral land, regardless of whether or not the estate or interest is registered as a charge against the title of the land.

Freehold Ownership: Freehold ownership is registered with the land title office and gives the owner full use and control of the land and buildings on it, subject to any rights of the Province, local bylaws and any other restrictions in place at the time of purchase. Freehold ownership gives the holder ownership for an indefinite period of time.

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Mineral: Under the Mineral Tax Actmineral means an ore of metal or a natural substance that can be mined and that is in the place or position where it was originally formed or deposited or is in talus rock, and includes:

  • rock and other materials from mine tailings, dumps and previously mined deposits of minerals
  • dimension stone
  • rock or a natural substance as prescribed under the Mineral Tenure Act
  • placer minerals
  • coal

but does not include:

  • petroleum, natural gas, marl, earth, soil, peat, sand or gravel
  • rock or a natural substance that is used for a construction purpose on land not within a mineral title or group of mineral titles where the rock or natural substance is mined
  • rock or a natural substance on private land that is used for a construction purpose
  • rock or a natural substance prescribed under the Mineral Tenure Act

Under the Mineral Land Tax Act, mineral means any non-living substance formed by the processess of nature that occurs in, on or under land, of any chemical or physical state, but does not include soil, earth, stone used for building or construction, limestone, dolomite, marble, shale, clay, sand, gravel, volcanic ash, diatomaceous earth, marl, peat, surface water and ground water.

Mineral Land: Mineral land is land, other than Crown land and land comprising a right of way, station ground or railway yard or terminal, where a mineral is or may be located or where a person has the right to work, win or carry away a mineral.

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Operate (a mine): To operate a mine means to produce minerals from a mine and includes:

  • discovery
  • development
  • mining
  • milling
  • smelting
  • refining
  • washing
  • preparation
  • drying
  • beneficiation
  • other processing of minerals required to obtain a mineral product
  • reclamation of the mine

Operator (of a mine): An operator of a mine is a person or company that has the right to win minerals from the mine, including the owner, lessee, licensee, tenant or others. Operator of a mine refers to both current and past operators of mines.

Others acting on behalf of an operator, such as trustees in bankruptcy, assignees, liquidators, receivers, administrators, committees, agents, or other persons managing, winding-up, controlling, or otherwise dealing with the property, business or income of an operator, must file a return if the operator has not filed a return for a taxation year.

An operator is not:

  • a partnership
  • a person or entity who, under an arm’s length agreement, has a right to receive royalties payable only in cash.

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Placer Gold Mine: A placer gold mine is a mine that has the following characteristics:

  • substantially all of the mineral product produced from the mine is placer minerals
  • gold produced from the mine accounts for the majority of the value of the placer minerals produced from the mine

Placer Mineral: A placer mineral means ore of metal and every natural substance that can be mined and that is either loose or found in fragmentary or broken rock that is not talus rock and occurs in loose earth, gravel and sand.

Placer mineral includes:

  • rock or other materials from placer mine tailings, dumps and previously mined deposits of placer minerals

Placer mineral does not include:

  • coal, petroleum, natural gas, marl, earth, soil, peat, sand or gravel
  • rock or a natural substance that is used for a construction purpose on land that is not within a mineral title or group of mineral titles where the rock or natural substance is mined
  • rock or a natural substance on private land that is used for a construction purpose

Production Area: A production area is a portion of land located in B.C. that the administrator has designated as mineral land used for mineral exploration, development or production. The administrator may include land comprising a right of way, station ground, or railway yard or terminal in the production area.

Proportionate Share: An operator’s proportionate share is the share of mineral product, benefit, cost or tax-related quantity the operator is entitled to, or responsible for, as a result of operating a mine.

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Quarry: A quarry is a mine from which substantially all of the minerals removed are quarry materials.

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Reclamation Costs: Reclamation costs are generally incurred in relation to a reclamation program approved by the Chief Inspector of Mines under the Mines Act. Reclamation costs include required contributions to the reclamation fund established under the Mines Act. See the Mineral Tax Costs and Expenditures Regulation for a complete explanation.

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