How MTO Works

Signing On

To conduct any mineral titles business (registering claims, work, transfers, etc.) you must log in to MTO using your business BCeID (British Columbia Electronic Identification). For more information on obtaining a BCeID please view our Frequently Asked Questions: Logging on to MTO (PDF).

Viewing mineral and placer maps or conducting tenure searches is available to the general public.  You do not need to logon to the MTO application to retrieve information.

Remember, if you are not registered with a BCeID, you cannot carry out any business under MTO. 

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E-commerce connections are consistent with requirements and standards established through the Chief Information Officer (CIO) for B.C. The system used by the Mineral Titles Branch will remain consistent with the standards determined with the CIO.

MTO accepts VISA, Mastercard and AMEX in a secure environment. Cash or Cheque payments can still be made at Mineral Titles Branch offices, Service BC offices and Front Counter BC offices across the province.

How MTO Works: BCeID

To transact any business in MTO, you must have a BCeID registration. BCeID is an online government-wide authentication service that allows you to use the same login ID and password to sign in securely to any participating government web site or service. As more government services are available electronically over the Internet, you will be able to log on with your one login ID and password for everything.

Never give your BCeID login information and password to anyone. With this information, a person can access your titles without restriction.

Acquiring a BCeID

You may register for a BCeID at a Mineral Titles Branch office (Vancouver) or Service BC office or Front Counter BC office.  You will have to be identity proofed, so bring at least two pieces of identification, one of which must bear your photograph (e.g., a BC Driver’s License).  Out of province residents must bring their birth certificate card.  You must acquire an FMC to establish yourself as a Mineral Titles client.  The entire process takes less than 30 minutes.

Remember, you cannot carry out any business respecting mineral titles in MTO without a Business BCeID.


When you sign into a government site that is part of the BCeID system, type the login ID and password in the BCeID sign-in box. The system will confirm you are registered and that the password you typed is correct. If so, access is provided to the participating site.

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Free Miner Certificate (FMC)

“Person” here means an individual, a corporation, or a partnership.  A valid free miner certificate (FMC) is required by a person at the time they acquire interest in a mineral title, whether by registering a new cell claim or lease, or by purchasing all or partial interest in an existing claim or lease from another titleholder.  A valid FMC is also required by the recorded holder of a mineral or placer claim at the time that exploration and development work or a payment instead of work is registered on that claim.  If there are two or more recorded holders of a claim, all holders must hold a valid FMC when work or a payment is registered.  These requirements are the same as they were prior to MTO.

To qualify for an individual FMC, an individual must be at least 18 years old, and ordinarily be a resident of Canada for no less than 183 days in each calendar year.  A non-resident who is authorized by the federal government to work in Canada may also acquire a FMC.  Canadian citizens, regardless of their place of residence, are, by virtue of citizenship, authorized to work in Canada and may thus acquire a FMC.

To acquire a corporate FMC, a company must be registered under the Business Corporations Act (provincially or extra-provincially), Financial Institutions Act or Insurance Act of British Columbia, or it must be a Chartered Bank.

A partnership may be comprised of individuals and/or corporations who qualify as above, and the partnership must be registered under the Partnership Act of BC.

Further information about FMCs is available on our Frequently Asked Questions - FMC (PDF).

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Updating Your Client Information

It is the responsibility of each client to ensure their client information is kept current at all times.  Section 61 of the Mineral Tenure Act requires a recorded holder of a mineral title to notify the Chief Gold Commissioner of a change in the holder’s permanent address; this is now done by the client online.  Section 62 provides that a notice, order or other document sent to the address on record is deemed to have been served.  Ministry staff generally use email as a quick means to contact clients.  Section 6.4 of the Act stipulates that the electronic information in the registry prevails over any other information or document.

It is therefore important that you maintain current information, including your mailing address, email address, and telephone and fax numbers.  You may choose to have your email and telephone/fax numbers confidential (accessible only by ministry staff for business purposes) or public (accessible to anyone doing a search in MTO).  You may correct inaccurate information when you renew your FMC, or at any time through the “FMC Client” program from the main menu.

Title Searches

Any person may do a title search in MTO and print out the title search page through the public Viewer site.  The title search has a listing of all events recorded on the title under the previous MiDA system (if a legacy title) and all events registered in MTO.  Mineral Titles staff do not carry out these searches for clients.

If the title is a legacy claim or lease, Mineral Titles staff will provide copies of records and documents recorded prior to MTO.  The cost of these searches is $5.00 per title, plus $25 per hour or portion thereof.

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An agent may be authorized to conduct business in MTO on behalf of a recorded holder or any other person who has a BCeID.  The agent does not require a valid FMC for the purpose of being an agent, but does require a BCeID.  Agents may be authorized to perform any number of specific functions at the discretion of the person who is authorizing the agent.

To set up an agent, the person logs in to MTO, selects the “FMC Client” tab on the main menu, then selects “Agent Profile Management” and continues.

Setting up an agent means that the agent has complete authority in MTO to perform any registration on behalf of the person, according to the specific authorizations assigned to the agent.  Titleholders should recognize this when setting up an agent.

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Mineral Titles Online Grid

The MTO grid is derived from the Petroleum and Natural Gas (PNG) grid which the ministry has been using for many years to describe tenures for oil and gas and coal.  The MTO grid uses the National Topographic System (NTS) series of maps published by Natural Resources Canada. It is based on latitude and longitude in North American Datum (NAD) 27.

To produce the MTO grid, each 1:50,000 map-sheet was divided into a 10x10 grid, with each cell called a unit. Geographically, each unit is 30 seconds by 45 seconds. At the 49th parallel, the unit measures about 84.7 hectares. We then divided each unit into four cells, which range from approximately 21 hectares in the south to approximately 16 hectares in the north of the province.

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