Lands & Regulations

Map Staking / Ground Staking

In March 2003 the board of directors agreed that the association should advocate map staking as a strategy for acquiring mineral rights in Canada but that this position should not be interpreted as opposition to ground staking.

Subsequently, an ad hoc committee was set up to examine the current status of claim staking across Canada and to consider the issue of mapstaking and its implications for the exploration community. The committee compiled baseline data to lay the foundation for an examination of all aspects of mineral tenure in Canada.

At its January 2004 meeting, the board approved the committee’s recommendations as follows:

  1. map staking be adopted in surveyed areas. Staked areas should follow the cadastral survey boundaries;

  2. map staking be adopted in areas remote from infrastructure and communities. Staked areas should be based on the NAD 83 UTM grid;

  3. in any change to the acts and regulations, right of access to explore and develop be guaranteed;

  4. the cost to apply for a map-staked claim be the same as the present cost to record a physically-staked claim.

  5. Click here for a full copy of the report

Three years later, in July 2007, the PDAC board of directors agreed that the association should develop and advocate for a Canadian map staking policy on a “first come basis” which protects the confidentiality, mineral title and tenure of the claimant. The board agreed further that this policy will acknowledge that access to land acquired through map staking for mineral exploration and/or development will be subject to appropriate consultation-communication protocols with landowners (federal, provincial/territorial, or First Nations).

The board has directed the Regulations Committee to develop a position paper on free entry. Committee chair, Michael Bourassa, is a member of Ontario’s Mining Act Advisory Committee. The Ontario government is contemplating the use of map staking south of the French River, essentially following the lead of the Saskatchewan and Manitoba governments in offering map selection in surveyed areas. It is hoped that the introduction of map staking in southeast Ontario will reduce the potential for conflict between surface title and mining rights holders, a situation that has put the free entry system at risk.

On July 18, 2007, the Ontario Ministry of Northern Development of Mines began a 60-day public consultation process on possible changes to claim staking and mineral exploration rules on property where the mining rights and surface rights are held separately. The stated objectives of the changes are "to address concerns of surface rights holders and to provide the mineral exploration industry with certainty of investment through clearer rules for exploration" in Ontario.

Proponents of map staking in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut continue to look to the PDAC for support.

For more information, contact the PDAC, [email protected].