Mining exploration tax credit for corporate income tax

Publication date: February 22, 2024

The mining exploration tax credit (METC) is for eligible corporations, and corporations that are active members of partnerships conducting grassroots mineral exploration in B.C.

An active member of a partnership includes a corporation that is engaged in a business similar to that carried on by the partnership. Limited partners are not eligible to claim the credit.

The corporation or partnership must incur qualified mining exploration expenses for determining the existence, location, extent or quality of a mineral resource in B.C.

The credit applies to exploration for all base and precious metals, coal and some industrial minerals. Drilling expenses for oil and gas do not qualify.

Budget 2024 proposes that effective February 23, 2024, all mining exploration expenses for oil and gas do not qualify for the credit.

Qualified mining exploration expenses may include expenses incurred in the course of:

  • Prospecting
  • Carrying out geological surveys
  • Drilling
  • Trenching
  • Digging test pits
  • Preliminary sampling

Qualified mining exploration expenses, provided they were incurred after February 28, 2015, may also include expenses for environment studies and community consultations to obtain a right, licence or privilege to determine the existence, location, extent or quality of a mineral resource in B.C.

Prospecting, drilling, trenching, digging test pits and preliminary sampling expenses incurred after May 17, 2018 are qualified mining exploration expenses only to the extent the expenses exceed any revenues resulting from those expenses before the mine comes into production in reasonable commercial quantities.

The credit is calculated as 20% of qualified mining exploration expenses less the amount of any assistance received or receivable. Assistance includes reimbursements a taxpayer has received or is entitled to receive, as well as grants, subsidies, rebates and forgivable loans.

Mineral exploration in mountain pine beetle affected areas

An enhanced rate of 30% is available for qualified mineral exploration undertaken in prescribed Mountain Pine Beetle affected areas.

To view a map of the qualifying Mountain Pine Beetle area, see the overview map (PDF, 10MB), the detailed area maps (PDF, 30MB) or go to the GeoBC Media Vault.

Claiming the credit

You can claim the credit by completing Schedule 421, British Columbia Mining Exploration Tax Credit and submitting it with your T2 Corporation Income Tax Return. Enter the amount of the credit you’re claiming on line 673 of Schedule 5, Tax Calculation Supplementary – Corporations.

To claim a share of a partnership’s tax credit, members of a partnership must also file a completed British Columbia Mining Exploration Tax Credit Partnership Schedule (T1249).

For tax years ending on or before December 31, 2016, you must claim the credit no later than 36 months after the end of the tax year. For tax years ending on or after January 1, 2017, you must claim the credit no later than 18 months after the end of the tax year. The credit is fully refundable, but must first be applied against total income tax payable. There are no carry-back or carry-forward provisions.

As part of our COVID-19 supports, the deadline to claim this tax credit for claims required to be made March 13, 2020 or later was extended to six months from the original due date or to December 31, 2020, whichever is earlier.


The following legislation applies to the mining exploration tax credit program:

Personal mining exploration tax credit

See the personal Mining exploration tax credit page if you’re an individual looking to claim the credit.

Frequently asked questions

Get answers to your questions about the mining exploration tax credit.