Q - How long does it take to get a BCeID and have it activated for MTO?
A - The system has been changed and this can now usually be accomplished in a couple of days. In order to use MTO, you must apply for a Business BCeID. If you are an individual, this means you will need to apply as a sole proprietor even if you do not have a business. Once your BCeID is activated it will be linked to the MTO site.
Q - I used to do all my tenure management work at the Government Agent’s office. I don’t have a computer, can I still go to the Government Agent?
A - Yes, there are Community Access (CATS) Terminals at the Service BC centers where you can go online to perform your own tenure management.
Q - I have claims that I would like to get a legal GPS survey completed on. Will I still get one year of credit for assessment purposes for this work?
A - No. You will now only be allowed to record the actual cost of the GPS survey for your work, which may or may not be the total amount required for your assessment. For example, if you have a 20-unit block (or 25 cell units) of mineral claims your assessment requirement would be about $2000 if the claims are under four years or $4000 if they are older. If you have a common post, you will only have one GPS point, which is likely to cost less than $1,000 for the GPS location and report. The $1,000 is all you would be eligible to claim and you would require additional work to make up the balance of your assessment requirement.
Q - I have a neighbor who has converted their claims and consequently covered part of my tenure. Can they work on this portion of the property that overlaps mine?
A - No. Although your neighbor now overlaps you, their cell tenure only extends to what existed previously—unless you forfeit or abandon your tenure in which case the ground automatically becomes the property of the cell owner.
Q - Can I be forced to convert my Legacy tenures into cells?
A - No— you can retain your legacy tenures as long as you maintain your assessment requirement and continue to pay your recording fees. In cases of tenure dispute you may be required to provide a legal GPS survey to verify your claims’ ground position.
Q - Is there a fee for converting my claims?
A - No—there is no government fee to convert. However, if you have work that can be filed against your claims it is best to record it prior to converting. If you do not complete the conversion yourself, a service provider may charge a nominal fee for converting.
Q - Is there a fee for amalgamating my cell tenures?
A - Yes. The fee is $10 per tenure included in the amalgamation.
Q - If there is a Legacy claim within a cell, who pays to maintain the ground?
A - Both tenure owners pay on the ground that is overlapped.
Q - Why would I want to pay to maintain the ground in a cell that overlaps a Legacy tenure?
A - When and if the Legacy tenure forfeits, the cell owner automatically acquires the ground within the cell that was previously held by the Legacy owner. Essentially you are paying for the opportunity to acquire the cell in future.
Q - I converted my existing placer tenures into an LPM because I was told that as long as I paid the annual lease fees I could live in a cabin on my LPM. When my lease term is up will it automatically be renewed?
A - Not necessarily. Lease renewals are at the discretion of Mineral Titles that will look at your approved notices of work and production records for the LPM term. LPMs were issued to owners who wanted to put placer claims in production that would exceed the annual 2,000m3 of pay dirt allowed on a Legacy placer claim (1000m3 per cell). If you cannot satisfy Mineral Titles requirements for a full 10-year extension, you may receive a 1 or 2 year extension until you have satisfied the requirements.
Q - I have an old PL that is expiring next year, can I convert this into cells?
A - Yes. If you own a PL that is facing term expiry, you can now request it be converted into an LPM, or to move from a PL to placer claim (with a new tenure number) which will then become eligible for conversion into a cell tenure. Neither LPMs or mineral leases are eligible for conversion.
Q - If I own a crown granted mineral claim, can someone overstake it with cell tenures?
A - Yes, although if you have both surface and undersurface rights on the crown grant, the person acquiring the cells overtop of your tenure will not be able to work. If your crown granted rights have been separated at some time, this may not necessarily be the case. For specifics, you will need to check your crown grant documents to ensure which rights they convey. If you are concerned about retaining absolute control of your tenure, it may be wise to acquire the cells that include your crown grant.
Q - Are there advantages to converting my claims?
A - Yes, depending on your circumstances. If you are in a heavily claimed area, with many adjacent neighbors, it is to your advantage to be the first to convert as any fractions that exist will be covered during the conversion process. Also, should any of your neighbors default and forfeit their claims, the converted area will automatically become part of your converted claim. Through the conversion process, you will also be acquiring additional ground, which is some areas can be extremely beneficial. But you should be aware that in acquiring more ground through the conversion, you will also have a higher work requirement (based on $4/ha for mineral and $10/ha for placer) as well as higher recording fees.
Q - I have claims that I have done physical work on. Will I need to file a report in addition to completing my online assessment filing?
A - Yes. There have been changes since 2005 that affect your reporting requirements. You are now required to file a report for both physical and technical work that details your activities during the year on your tenures. This will consist of a statement of your exploration objectives and whether these were achieved, annual m3 of pay dirt processed, metric dimensions of workings and areas reclaimed, an accurate statement of costs and a map detailing where the physical work was done. You should also include a short statement on your qualifications as a miner (i.e. you have been a prospector or a hobby miner for how many years, or any other relevant experience).
Q - Are there any disadvantages to converting claims to cell tenures?
A—Yes. If the neighboring tenures have already been converted you may stand to lose ground if you convert. Each conversion needs to be closely examined to ensure that maximum advantage accrues to the tenure owner. Also, in an area where you own a number of claims with different anniversary dates, it is important that this is taken into consideration prior to conversion or you may lose assessment credits. Another, perhaps even more important, consideration is to ensure that all work performed on the claims has been applied before conversion - only work performed after the conversion date can be applied to assessment on a ‘new’ tenure. There may also be issues over precedence of tenure with private property owners, since converted tenures are considered to be new and therefore may not include any prior rights.
Mineral claims that are eligible for the 5-year Portable Assessment Credit (10 years of work recorded against the claims earns this credit) should have the P.A.C. credit applied prior to conversion or another 10 years of exploration will have to be recorded before the tenures are eligible.
Q - If I have a multi-year mechanical permit, is it necessary to file a Notice of Completion at the end of each year?
A—Yes. The Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources (MEMPR) who issue your permit is now making an annual Notice of Completion (NOC) mandatory. Permit holders who have not filed an NOC by March 31 of the following year will not be issued new permits or be allowed to amend their permits to reflect new activities.
Q - Have the requirements changed for physical reports filed for assessment?
A—Yes. Beginning in 2005, tenure holders must supply details on their qualifications, a detailed written description of activities and results, an itemized cost statement and breakdown of expenses incurred, the metric dimensions of workings and/or the metric units of material processed, photographs of work for mechanical and hand work (if at all possible), and maps of disturbed and reclaimed areas at a scale of 1:5,000.
Q - Does this mean I have to report how much gold I recover on a placer claim?
A—Not necessarily. The government is trying to assemble a data base to provide more accurate information, particularly on placer ground. A description of rock types, and overburden depth may be sufficient for reporting purposes. (For example: Your objectives might be to determine whether you should permit for mechanical operations; and your ‘results’ would then be your decision to permit or not.)