PLEASE NOTE: THE COMMENTS CONTAINED IN THIS QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS SECTION ARE FOR INFORMATION PURPOSES ONLY AND DOES NOT CONSTITUTE LEGAL ADVICE.
1 – What do you mean when you talk about ownership of surface or mining rights?
The ownership of surface rights and mining rights varies from one parcel of land to the next across Ontario. The Crown (Canada) has created land title since the early days when Ontario was an English colony. There have been a number of different practices spanning over 300 years of land settlement. The practice of the Crown in England, for example, was to reserve to the King or Queen the precious metals of gold and silver in the grants of land termed “Patents”. In 1913, the province amended its Public Lands Act so any titled granted by the Crown before the amendment included mineral rights ownership. Any parcels of land granted by the Crown after May 6, 1913, may or may not include the mining rights depending on how the title is worded. Ontrio’s current Public Lands Act authorizes the Minister of Natural Resources to sell or lease land. Today the province’s policy is to reserve mining rights to the Crown in the majority of land grants
2 – What do you mean when you talk about a shoreline reservation?
All waterfront property in Northern Ontario has a standard 66 foot shoreline reservation, unless otherwise transferred to the Deed. This reservation can be as deep as 200 feet on some properties. This part of the property is owned and controlled by the Ministry of Natural Resources. No permanent development or shoreline development is allowed on this reservation. In most cases the shoreline reservation may be purchased from the Ministry of Natural Resources.
3 – What is the difference between mineral rights and surface rights?
Mineral rights are the rights to the minerals located in, on or under a piece of land. A surface rights holder is an individual who owns rights to land which do not include the mineral rights. Contact with surface rights holders should be made and maintained throughout the mining sequence, as they have a legal right to the land. In some cases, contacting surface rights holders is also a requirement under the Mining Act. Surface rights holders must be contacted before beginning assessment work.
4 – What are mining rights?
Put simply, mining rights are the rights to the minerals located in, on or under the land.
5 – What are surface rights?
Surface rights refer to any right of land that is not mining rights. You are the Deeded property owner and have the legal right to walk & enjoy the surface of the property. You can build or construct a dwelling on the surface of the property
6 – What does it mean when you say, “All timber rights are reserved to the Crown”?
Timber rights reserved means that all the timber (trees) standing on the property do not belong with the property. These trees are reserved to the Provincial Government or to an individual. This includes all tree species except Pine trees. Although the Government owns the trees they do require the permission of the property owner to harvest those trees. If the property owner wishes to harvest the trees on the parcel, the owner must call the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources District Office for further details. A stumpage fee is owed to the Ministry of Natural Resources when harvested.
7 – What does it mean when you say “timber rights are included”?
You, the property owner, own the trees except the Pine.
8 – What does it mean when you say, “All pines are reserved to the Crown”?
All Pine trees standing on the property are owned by the Provincial Government. The property owner does not own these trees. To harvest Pine trees you must contact the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. The Pine rights can be purchased from the Government.
9 – What does it mean when you say, “All pine rights are included”?
You, the property owner, own the Pine trees.
10 – What does it mean when you say, “All mineral rights are reserved”?
The minerals above or below the surface are reserved to the Government, Mining Company, Prospector or a private individual.
This includes all precious metals, ores, sand & gravel. When a Mining Company, Prospector or other individual own the mineral rights, they do not need the owners permission to go on the property and do exploration work. The Mining Company, Prospector or other individual only need to inform you in writing, the day before, of their intent to perform work.
Owning the timber rights on the property, when the mineral rights are reserved, is a very large plus for the property owner.
The majority of prospectors and mining companies are very good to work with, and between the owner and themselves, will normally work out a fair compensation package for any exploration work that will be performed.
All private properties that were patent under the Private Lands Act prior to 1913, have the mineral rights included in the property
For more information (and there is much more), please call the Ministry of Northern Development & Mines. 1-705-670-5742 or 1-888-41-9845
11 – What does it mean when you say, “All mining rights are included”?
You , the property owner, own the minerals above & below the surface.