Free Miner Certificate FAQ - Mineral Titles

Last updated on June 30, 2022
 

How do I apply for a Free Miner Certificate (FMC)? ?

Step 1: Apply for a Business BCeID account

This will allow you to log into Mineral Titles Online (MTO). For more information about applying for a business BCeID, please review How do I get a BCeID

Important: if you are required to visit an office to have identify verified for the Business BCeID, you must show the same two pieces of I.D. that you entered when applying for your BCeID online. 

Step 2: Apply for your Free Miner Certificate

Download and complete the application form and submit the applicable fee. You can mail it or bring your completed application form and applicable fee to a Mineral Titles Branch office, a Service BC office or a FrontCounter BC office. 

 

How do I renew my Free Miner Certificate?

An FMC can be renewed online by logging into Mineral Titles Online (MTO). 

 

I had an FMC in the past. Do I need to get a new one?

No, you can simply renew your FMC.

To check if you have previously held a FMC, use the Mineral Titles Online (MTO) search function to see if there is a record.

Refer to the Title Search how-to guide and follow the instructions for ‘Search by Owner Name’ to see if your name exists in the system.

If your name is listed in the search results, click on 'Client Details' to check your information. You may need to update your contact information or apply for a different type of FMC (eg. Senior). If you are already in MTO, you simply need to renew your FMC online.

If you do not find your name in MTO, a message “Sorry, there’s no matched owners found” will appear for your search results. You will need to apply for a new FMC

 

How do I find out if my FMC has been renewed or not?

There are two ways to view your FMC status:

1. View your current/latest certificate report

2. Search MTO to view Client Details

Follow the instructions for ‘Search by Owner Name’ to see if your name exists in the system.

If your name is listed in the search results, click on 'Client Details' to check your information. 

If the FMC status appears as ACTIVE, you have a current FMC. If the status appears as EXPIRED, you will need to renew your FMC

 

Where can I get a copy of my Free Miner Certificate (FMC)?

You can view or print a copy of your FMC if it is active (ie. Not expired or suspended). 

If you renewed your FMC in advance, you must wait until your renewed FMC takes effect before a copy can be printed.

If you do not have an active FMC, MTO will display an error message “You currently do not hold a valid FMC. If your previous FMC has expired, you may need to renew your FMC.” An expired FMC cannot be printed. 

 

I am now a senior, how do I renew my FMC so I do not get charged $25.00?

If you have turned 65 years of age or older since the last renewal of your FMC, you cannot renew your FMC online or you will be charged $25.00.

Instead, you are required to submit a completed FMC application form Fill in your existing client number in the space provided on the side of the application.

The completed form will allow staff to change your status in MTO to ‘Senior’ and renew your FMC for you. Proof of age may be requested.

In future years, you will once again renew your FMC online without being charged $25.00.

 

Can I purchase a Free Miner Certificate for more than one year?

No. A free miner certificate is issued for a maximum 12-month term.

During the current term of your existing FMC, you can renew your FMC in advance for the next year

 

 

My name or the name of my company has changed. How do I get the name changed on my Free Miner Certificate and in the mineral titles registry?

You cannot change your name or the name of your company yourself in Mineral Titles Online (MTO).  Email your request and include the applicable document to Mineral.Titles@gov.bc.ca.

Individual: Obtain a copy of the legal document that shows your name change. 

Company: Obtain a copy of the “Change of Name certificate” issued by the BC Registries and Online Services. Corporate name changes registered in other jurisdictions are not acceptable.

Upon receipt of a change of name certificate, Mineral Titles staff will make the name change in the MTO registry.  This change will be reflected on your free miner certificate and on any valid titles that you hold.

 

My company has amalgamated with another company. What do I need to do to change the FMC and titles to the current company?

When two or more companies amalgamate, the amalgamated corporation is considered a new company and must get a new free miner certificate.

The FMC’s held by the former corporations are deemed invalid upon amalgamation and should not continue to be used or renewed. An existing FMC cannot be transferred to the new amalgamated company even if the amalgamated corporation keeps the same name as one of the former corporations.

To apply for a new corporate FMC for the amalgamated company:

Step 1: Register the amalgamation with BC Registries and Online Service

A copy of the amalgamation certificate will be need to be attached  to your FMC application.  Documents from other provinces or from the federal government are not acceptable for applying for a corporate FMC.

Step 2:  Complete a new corporate FMC application for the amalgamated company.

If the application is accepted and the FMC is issued, the Mineral Titles Branch will transfer any existing valid titles held by the amalgamating companies to the FMC of the new amalgamated company.

Step 3: Update or create a Business BCeID.

Business BCeID Account and Profile Management Guide is helpful for managing any existing BCeID accounts and user ID’s from the amalgamating companies to update/create the BCeID account for the new amalgamated company.

Step 4: Email a list of BCeID user ID’s who will require access to MTO for the new amalgamated company.

Once received, Mineral Titles Branch will set up access to these users to gain access to MTO.

 

 

Can a person who is not a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada hold an FMC and own claims in BC?

Yes. Individuals must be 18 years of age or older and ordinarily a resident of Canada for not less than 183 days in each calendar year, or be authorized by the federal government of Canada to work in Canada (proof of authorization must be provided).

An individual, a corporation or a partnership, must hold a valid Free Miner Certificate (FMC) in order to register a mineral title in their name, acquire a mineral title through completion of a Bill of Sale or, record exploration and development work or a payment instead of exploration and development work on that person’s claim.

The Mineral Tenure Act and Mineral Tenure Act Regulation govern the issuance of a free miner certificate (FMC) and the acquisition and maintenance of mineral titles in the Province of British Columbia.

 

 

What rights does a Free Miner have? 

A free miner is a person who holds a valid free miner certificate.

A free miner has the right to acquire and maintain mineral and placer titles, and access their titles to conduct exploration and development.

For more information about free miner rights and responsibilities, please see Information Update 1 - Free Miner Certificate