Mines (Regulatory)

Exploration and Mining Guide

Development and Production

Your decision to move into development and production sets the stage for a series of permit/licensing steps. During the advanced exploration phase you may have qualified for a staged Environment Act licence. To achieve new mine status a complete Environment Impact Statement must be submitted and approved through the process outlined in the Environmental Regulations (link to this section) section of this guide.

In all likelihood advanced exploration was conducted under claim status. Now's the time to further secure access and rights to the land by applying for mineral and surfaces leases from Growth, Enterprise and Trade. You may also, based on the location of your site, need to:

  • Apply for a Crown land permit or lease, issued by Lands and Geomatics Branch, Sustainable Development
  • Acquire a water rights licence from Manitoba Water Stewardship,
  • Ensure development and operating plans conform with several acts and regulations,
  • Apply for a permit from Parks and Natural Areas Branch, Sustainable Development, if your development is in a provincial park.

Mineral Lease

Issued through the Mines Branch of Growth, Enterprise and Trade, a mineral lease grants exclusive right to: Crown minerals, and mineral access rights which include the right to work, mine and erect buildings as required for the efficient mining and production of minerals.

Lease Size: Can be a number of contiguous claims up to 800 hectares.

Pre-conditions: Claims will have to be free of liens and encumbrances. Accumulated work expenditures must equal $625 per hectare within the area applied for, or such lesser value as the Minister of Growth, Enterprise and Trade may approve. These credits can have been built-up over the entire term of the claim.

Term: 21 year renewable term in the case of a producing lease and renewable under specified circumstances in the case of a non-producing lease.

Rent: Rental for a first term mineral lease is: $8.00 per hectare or fraction thereof per year, but not less than $150.00.

Rental for the renewal of a mineral lease not in production is: $12.00 per hectare or fraction thereof per year, but not less than $200.00.

Reporting Requirements: A detailed statement on exploration work carried out on the mineral lease must be filed on the 5th, 10th, and 21st anniversaries of the lease at a Growth, Enterprise and Trade office no later than 60 days after the specified anniversary date. It should be based on information provided in Schedule B of Manitoba Regulation 64/92 (Mineral Disposition and Mineral Lease Regulation).

To Apply: Complete the Application for Mineral Lease. In addition to the application information, review Parts 5, 7, 13 of The Mines and Minerals Act, plus Manitoba Regulation 64/92 (Mineral Disposition and Mineral Lease Regulation) for further company information requirements.

Send to: Submit your application, appropriate fees and rentals to any of the Growth, Enterprise and Trade offices listed on the application form.

Turnaround Time: A lease agreement will be drawn up within two weeks and will be forwarded to you for your review and signature.

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Changing Your Mineral Lease

To reduce, subdivide, amalgamate or enlarge the area of a mineral lease, complete the appropriate application form and provide the fee and rent for the first year of the proposed mineral lease, along with a certified plan of survey of the perimeter of the proposed mineral lease area.

To Apply:

Complete the

Send to: Any of the Growth, Enterprise and Trade offices listed on the application forms.

Turnaround Time: Four weeks.

Surface Lease

This lease defines the rights of a lessee to use the surface for the efficient and economical performance of mining operations by the holder.

Lease Size: As required.

Term: Renewable annually and is not to exceed the term of the mineral disposition or mineral lease to which it relates.

Rent: The rental fee is $5.00 per hectare per year (or any portion of), but not less than $100.00.

In provincial parks, the fee is 3.4% of appraised raw land used, plus $25.00 per kilometre of road used, plus applicable services fees.

To Apply: Complete the Application for Surface Lease. Include the rent for the first year, the application fee, as outlined in Section 43, Manitoba Regulation 64/92 (Mineral Disposition and Mineral Lease Regulation). In provincial parks a lease is required from Sustainable Development.

Send to: Any of the Growth, Enterprise and Trade offices listed on the application form.

Turnaround Time: Three to four weeks.

Sustainable Development Permit/Lease

The Work Permit issued by Sustainable Development is applicable through to the completion of advanced exploration. However, once an Environmental Act licence has been approved, application for a lease should be made to the Lands and Geomatics Branch, Sustainable Development. As with the work permit application, the conditions and steps required to obtain a lease will be consistent with your site location. For example, leases are available for Crown land, provincial parks, and provincial forests.

Lease Size: Any size, based on the request of the mining company.

Pre-conditions: Specific to the type of operation.

Term: 21 years.

Rent: $2.00 per acre with a minimum of $100.00 for a mining operation. In provincial parks, the fee is 3.4% of appraised raw land used, plus $25.00 per kilometre of road used, plus applicable services fees.

To Apply: Contact the Lands and Geomatics Branch, Sustainable Development.

Turnaround Time: Permit - same day; Lease - 21 working days.

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Water Rights Licence

The withdrawal of water from a natural source for any purpose, except domestic, and/or the diversion of water, such as the drainage of wetlands, damming or re-routing of streams, requires a Water Rights Act licence. The act is administered and licences are issued by Manitoba Water Stewardship. The processing of an application is usually coordinated with the Environment Act licensing process (where the applications are concurrent).

Licences have seniority according to their date of application and protect a licensed allocation from water withdrawals by some interest that comes later. Licences will be issued from a source only to the point of sustainable supply. Consideration of a licence takes into account impacts upon other existing licensed and domestic users. (Given the remote areas in which mining developments usually occur, restrictions based on sustainable supply, and impacts on others seldom come into play.)

Term: Time appropriate to the project to a maximum of 20 years. The licence is renewable.

Fees: You will be charged for water used in your industrial processes only (tailings, milling) The fees are as follows:

Volume (cubic decameters/year)
Rate Per (cubic decameters*)
Less than 100
101 - 500
501 - 10,000
10,001 - 20,000
20,001 - 100,000

*one cubic decameter = 220,000 Imperial Gallons

To Apply: Contact the Water Stewardship Division.

After you submit an application for a water rights licence, a Manitoba Water Stewardship representative will contact you to clarify your proposal. It should include such information as a tailings development plan if applicable, the intent of water use, the volume of water you plan to divert and the size of pumps to be used. If you have any questions regarding your application contact the Water Stewardship Division. A longer period of time is required to review more complex proposals, especially if a study of water supply and demand or downstream effects is necessary.

Turnaround Time: Target turnaround time is 90 days, although the process can be fast-tracked depending on the complexity of the project.

Filing Your Plans

With the leases in place, be aware that at least 60 days prior to starting or resuming mining, you must submit mining plans and schedules to the Director of Mines and the Director, Mines Inspections Branch. For further reference see Subsection 111(1), The Mines and Minerals Act.

You will already have been in touch with a Mines Inspector during advanced exploration, however all development and construction/operating plans must also be approved by the Mines Inspection Branch. Written notice of a mine opening, for development or production, must be provided to a Mines Inspector, 14 calendar days before the opening. For further reference see Manitoba Regulation 212/2011 (Operation of Mines Regulation) and Sections 17 & 18, Chapter W210, the Workplace Safety and Health Act. Further notice requirements on plans for tailings dams, and open pits are provided in the same Regulation, Sections 21 and Sections 208, 209, 210 respectively.

Contact the Director of the Mines Branch, Growth, Enterprise and Trade at any time for assistance in reaching new mine status.

Construction and Operations

There are several key acts/regulations that have an impact on the following activities: operation plan and guidelines, site access and preparation, transportation, waste management, equipment, plant/mill operation, tailings, explosives, security; fuel storage, ventilation, mechanical and electrical, ground support, ground stability; de-watering and pumping, air quality; noise abatement, town site.

They are as follows:

Labour as above, plus The Employment Standards Code and the Construction Industries Wages Act, C190 administered by the Manitoba Labour, Employment Standards Branch.

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Safety and Health Concerns

Standards and regulations for medical facilities, sanitation, ventilation, and mine rescue are addressed by the:

Fire as above, plus the

Emergency Procedures as above, plus the

Exposure Monitoring as above, plus Workplace Safety and Health Regulations

Training as above, plus Workplace Safety and Health Regulations


Water Quality

The standards and regulations applicable to water quality include the:

Mine Drainage, Waste, Tailings, Spill and Leakage Procedures

The standards and regulations applicable to mine drainage, mine waste, tailings and spill and leakage procedures include the:


Same as above plus the:

Other acts and regulations that may impact on your project include the:

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