Mines (Regulatory)

Exploration and Mining Guide

Primary Exploration

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Primary exploration includes the following activities:

  • various ground surveys within control grids,
  • limited stripping and trenching, and
  • various forms of drilling.

This section outlines the permits required to complete this work.

For your reference, information on filing for assessments is detailed in Manitoba Mineral Disposition and Mineral Lease Regulation 64/92.

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Working to Achieve Your Target

As the level of work increases, so does the potential for land disturbance. Sustainable Development Officer(s), who work closely with the Environmental Stewardship Division to ensure work permit standards are met. As importantly, they are a valuable source of information on the regulatory requirements designed to balance the demands of exploration and the resulting impact on the land and surrounding area.


You will find all the necessary information on drilling requirements and conditions in The Mines and Mineral Act, Manitoba Regulation 63/92 (Drilling Regulation).

Drilling (Precambrian)

A licence is not required to drill in Precambrian terranes, but there are requirements governing the operation and abandonment of holes and sites as described in The Mines and Minerals Act, Manitoba Regulation 63/92 (Drilling Regulation).

Drilling (Phanerozoic)

To prevent potential contamination of freshwater aquifers, we need to keep track of, and approve any drilling penetrating Phanerozoic rock. You will require a borehole licence, issued by the Director of Mines. The licence is issued for a one-year term and gives you the right, subject to certain conditions, to drill one or more boreholes within the boundaries of the area specified in the licence.

To Apply:
  • Complete the Application for Borehole Licence,
  • Provide a legal description of the property and attach a map or sketch showing the approximate locations of the drill site(s),

Send to: Forward your application and fee to any of the Growth, Enterprise and Trade offices listed on the application form.

Turnaround Time: Two to three weeks.

Timber Permit

To cut any merchantable timber on your exploration site, you will need a timber permit or salvage permit, outlining the conditions, any special considerations, the rate to be paid (based on location and type of wood) and volume of timber to be cut. For Crown lands, this permit is issued through the district/regional Sustainable Development office. Timber permits for other site locations, such as wildlife management areas or provincial forests, will be handled through Sustainable Development regional offices or the specific branches.

Once the work is done, complete the declaration on the reverse side of the permit as it's a record of the amount of timber cut. Submit the permit to the district/regional Sustainable Development office. You have 60 days from the permit expiry date to apply for a refund resulting from undercutting; however, there are no refunds issued for less than $20.00. Upon receiving the Declaration of Timber Cut, the Sustainable Development officer will levy additional charges if you have harvested over the permit limit.

Contact Headquarters Operations for the district/regional Sustainable Development offices. The application may be completed in-person and a permit issued the same day if the quantity to be cut is under 300 cubic metres. If over, the information will be forwarded to the Forestry Branch in Winnipeg for approval.

Turnaround Time: Same day to one week depending upon the amount of timber to be cut.

Burn Permit

You will require a permit if you plan to burn any material on your exploration site between April 1 and November 15. It outlines those conditions that must be met, and the period of time when burning is allowed. This permit is subject to cancellation or a change of permit conditions at any time if the fire hazard increases or reaches a stage where it is no longer safe to burn.

To Apply: Contact the local district/regional Sustainable Development office.

Turnaround Time: Same day if weather conditions are favourable.

For your Reference

Sections 17(1) and 17(2) of Manitoba Regulation 212/2011 (Operation of Mines Regulation), The Workplace Safety and Health Act, describe when a company must notify the Mines Inspections Branch of activities and what information is required.

Keep in Mind...

During the various exploration stages the Mines Inspector is not only responsible for approving exploration construction plans and new mine plans, but can also be a knowledgeable source of "workplace safety and health" information. For instance, if you're planning to begin significant diamond drilling contact a Mines Inspector at 204-945-3604.

Working Without a Prospecting License

The Mines and Minerals Act, M162 makes provision for a person to work on behalf of and under the direction of a licensee, to perform such duties as cutting line, erecting posts, operating equipment, etc., without a prospecting licence.

Related Acts and Regulations

These acts/regulations apply to prospecting, ground geophysics, geochemical surveys, geological surveys, hand or mechanical trenching/stripping and drilling. They also address site access and preparation, site abandonment and reclamation, spill and leakage procedures and waste management.

Emergency Procedures

These acts/regulations set the standards to be applied at all exploration sites in Manitoba:

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