Notice: Notice requirements for mining activities on private land and Land Act Leases.
Changes to the Mineral Tenure Act and the Mineral Tenure Act Regulation governing notice requirements for mining activities on private land and Land Act leases come into force on June 2, 2008.
In March 2007 the Legislature approved amendments to Section 19 of the Mineral Tenure Act (Act) that require a person to notify landowners before entering private land for any mining activity. The Act amendments also extend the notice requirements to include holders of Land Act leases and provide authority to make regulations that prescribe the timing and details of the notices. Additional changes to the Mineral Tenure Act Regulation (Regulation) allow costs related to serving notice to be used to satisfy work requirements for claims. The Act changes and amendments to the Mineral Tenure Act Regulation take effect June 2, 2008.
The amended notice requirements specify that a person must not begin a mining activity until eight days after giving notice to the owners of the surface area where the activity will take place. The notice must state when the activity will occur and include the names and addresses of the free miner or recorded holder and of the on-site person responsible for the operations. The notice must also describe the activity that will be conducted, state approximately how many people will be on site and include a map or written description of where the activity will take place. Notices may be mailed, e-mailed, sent by facsimile transmission or hand delivered to the owner.
If there are substantial changes to the activity described in the notice, or if the dates in which the work will occur changes by more than seven days, the person must give the landowner an amended notice. Work related to the amended notice may not begin until eight days after the amended notice has been given.
Where a person has made reasonable efforts to serve notice but has been unsuccessful in doing so, the Chief Gold Commissioner may exempt a person from the notice requirements. A person seeking exemption must apply in writing to the Chief Gold Commissioner and provide evidence supporting the application (PDF).
Costs related to determining the ownership of land and serving notice can be used to satisfy exploration and development work requirements for claims. The costs may be registered on the claims for which the landownership and notice work was done. If the work is done for land on which claims do not exist, the work can be registered on claims which are subsequently acquired in the area.
The provincial government has prepared online tools to help miners determine the location of private land and Land Act leases and the addresses of the owners. Access to the tools will be announced shortly.
Details on functions and use of the online tools are included in the pamphlet Notice for Access on Private Land – Information for Free Miners and Mineral Title Holders. This pamphlet also details the changes to the Act and Regulation, describes the rights and obligations of miners regarding access to private land and suggests methods for determining landownership and serving notice on landowners.
Landowners may also contact the Chief Gold Commissioner for assistance in resolving a dispute with a proponent. The Chief Gold Commissioner can be contacted through the Mineral Titles branch at Mineral.Titles@gov.bc.ca or 1-866-616-4999.
If a settlement cannot be achieved, one of the parties may apply to the Surface Rights Board for resolution. The Board will mediate and, if necessary, impose a binding agreement.