Minerals and Mining

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The Mineral and Mines Unit was established to assist First Nations within the Union of Ontario Indians in May of 2010.   It is currently staffed with a Mineral and Mines Policy Analyst.
The Union of Ontario Indians have developed the Anishinabek Mining Strategy that includes the following 5 goals:
  • Provided mineral and mines education and awareness to community members
  • Ensure that First Nation communities are meaningfully engaged in the mineral sector
  • Promote and provide mineral and mining opportunities to UOI member communities
  • Engage in policy analysis of mining activities within traditional territories
  • Provide support and mineral expertise to UOI member First Nation communities
Technical Table
A technical table has been established as an advisory body to provide a process to better identify current and emerging issues, support discussion on mining issues, allow for information exchange, facilitate a common understanding, build upon relationships and allow for the collaboration on the resolution of issues identified.
Peter Recollet, Ed Wawia, Dave Simpson, Marlene Bilous and Sharilyn Johnston.  Missing:  Phil Goulais.

 Guide for mining in Anishinabek Nation Territory
The purpose of this guide for mining in Anishinabek Nation Territory, is to assist First Nations in navigating through the individual phases of the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines (MNDM) mining sequence.  In order, these phases are:
Claim Staking – Company stakes a claim and registers it with MNDM - no consultation with First Nations.
Early exploration – MNDM provides written notice and gives First Nations 21 days to comment on exploration above ground.  IF YOU DO NOT ANSWER THESE PLANS, THE MINING CYCLE BEGINS.  THE COMPANY MAY WALK ON YOUR TERRITORY.
Advanced Exploration – MNDM provides written notice of permit application below ground to First Nations and asks Chief to call company - time limit 50 days for MNDM to decide. MNDM can stop the clock and call for mediation if serious dispute with First Nations
Closure Plans – Required to open a mine - company must prove that site can be rehabilitated after mine is closed - 45 days for First Nation and company consultation
NOTE:  The Mining Act in Ontario and its regulations do not require First Nation consultation on traditional and Treaty territory for claim staking and early exploration.
 Q.  A company wants to stake a claim (electronically on Ontario Crown land) in my territory. Claims can be staked electronically in Northern Ontario in early 2014.  What can my First Nation do?

Step 1. Company stakes a claim on Ontario Crown land and submits it to the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines.  There is no requirement for company to contact First Nations prior to staking a claim.
Step 2 – Ministry of Northern Development and Mines send Chief a letter.
 There are two claim types:
Exploration Plans – Above Ground- light damage to FN territory. Plan
Exploration Permits – deep drilling and blasting- heavy damage. Permit
Early Exploration uses Exploration Plans (above ground) – Chiefs have 21 days to comment to the MNDM from date letter is sent electronically.  IF YOU DON'T ANSWER THESE PLANS, THE MINING CYCLE WILL BEGIN. They also include a map of the area and a drill hole map.
If First Nations have no comments or no problems, company goes on to traditional territory to explore from 30 days from date of letter.
Advanced Exploration uses Exploration Permits – MNDM provides written notice of permit application to First Nations and asks Chief to call company.  Chief has 30 days to comment and engage company.  MNDM has a time limit of 50 days to make a decision. MNDM can stop the clock and call for mediation if serious dispute with First Nations.
Exploration Permits (blasting and deep drilling) – Letter from MNDM sent to Chief – notice with application, maps and history.    Chief is requested to phone the company. First Nations have up to 30 days to reply from date on letter.  If they say yes – the company goes ahead.
If MNDM can’t facilitate (mediator chosen from Ontario list of Mediators) have 30 days to report to Minister – First Nation can only appeal through the courts.
Closure Plans

A mining company wants to open a mine.  What does this means to First Nations?  What process is followed?
1)  In order to open a mine, a company must file a Closure Plan.  These are usually more than a 1000 pages because they include many engineering reports.
2) The Closure Plan is a document requiring the company to prove that the site can be rehabilitated.
3) Closure Plans consist of a detailed description of the project, closure objectives, progressive rehabilitation measures, rehabilitation at closure, monitoring plans, long-term site management and financial assurance.
4) The Closure Plan process allows 45 days for the company and First Nations, identified by MNDM to engage or consult.
5) The company files the Closure Plans with MNDM and begins applying for the required permits to open the mine.  First Nations are consulted on each permit.  For example, the Kearney Mine Site required 16 permits.


Anishinabek Mining Strategy Report Jan 2009
File: Mining Final Report.pdf

Serpent River First Nation Mining Report
File: SRFN Mining Report.pdf

Anishinabek Minerals and Mining 2011 Report
File: MiningReport.pdf


For additional information about Minerals and Mining or any information regarding the content of this page, please contact:

Laronde, Jason
Director Lands and Resources
Tel:(705) 497-9127
Fax:(705) 497-9135


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