Mineral Titles: Getting Started with Reserves

A reserve is established by a B.C. *Regulation of the Chief Gold Commissioner under

and it is the legal instrument used to prevent or restrict access to mineral, placer and coal lands.  By restricting claim registration or coal applications, reserves are an effective tool for land use management.  

In order to take effect, a reserve regulation must be deposited (filed) as a B.C. Regulation by the Registrar of Regulations in the office of Legislative Counsel.

A reserve may be established for a number of reasons as listed in section 22(2) of the Mineral Tenure Act and section 21(2) of the Coal Act, but the most common are to either prohibit registration of a claim or to restrict the rights acquired.  A "No Registration" reserve prohibits the acquisition of a mineral and/or placer claim, and a "conditional" reserve stipulates the specific conditions or restrictions which apply to a claim registered within the reserve.

The effective date of a reserve is the date on which it is filed as a B.C. Regulation with the Registrar of Regulations. This effective date is usually a few days after the date on which it is signed by the Chief Gold Commissioner. On the titles reference map, the reserve is notated by the site number corresponding to the area.

Reserves established by B.C. Regulation take effect at the beginning of the day on which the regulation is deposited (filed) with the Registrar of Regulations and this date is stamped by that office on the regulation. In cases where a reserve is terminated, it ceases to have effect at the end of the day which is one of the following:

  • the date of deposition of the rescinding regulation;
  • the end of the day specified in the original reserve regulation (the "sunset date"); or
  • the end of the day if one is specified in a rescinding regulation.

In the case of an amendment to a reserve, where one existing reserve is being amended or replaced by another, the change becomes effective at the beginning of the day specified in the amending Order, or if no date is specified, the beginning of the effective date of the amending Order.

Most No Registration use the wording "A free miner must not register a mineral claim..." which legally means that

  •  a claim cannot be registered within an area on or following the effective date of the reserve.

The afore-mentioned wording also reads "claim," not "mineral title," which signifies that an existing valid claim can still be surveyed and taken to lease in an area over which a No Registration  reserve has been established subsequent to the registration of the claim.