Mining Exploration Tax Credit for Personal Income Tax

If you conduct grassroots mineral exploration in B.C., you may qualify for the mining exploration tax credit (METC).

To be eligible, you must incur qualified mining exploration expenses before January 1, 2020 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.

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

  • prospecting
  • carrying out geological surveys
  • 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.

The credit is calculated as 20% of qualified mining exploration expenses less the amount of any assistance received or receivable. Assistance includes reimbursements you have received or are 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), the detailed area maps (PDF) or the Mineral Titles Online site and select Mineral Map or Placer Map.

Claiming the Credit

You claim the credit when you file your T1 Income Tax Return, by completing and attaching the British Columbia Mining Exploration Tax Credit (Individuals) form (T88).

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-forward or carry-back provisions.

Legislation

The following legislation applies to the METC: