Mines (Regulatory)

Exploration and Mining Guide

Regional Exploration

Regional exploration generally includes; airborne surveys, reconnaissance ground surveys, and preliminary sampling.

To carry out this type of work on Crown land you'll primarily need a work permit. Other permissions that may apply at this stage are notification of an airborne survey or a blasting certificate.

Check to see:

Work Permit

For any kind of field work you'll require a work permit, issued by the Department of Sustainable Development at any of its regional/district offices. You'll find a full range of permitting services at any of the locations. Check with the Department of Sustainable Development - Lands and Geomatics Branch, for the regional/district office located nearest to your project site.

Check your location, contact the Department of Sustainable Development - Lands and Geomatics Branch:

  • A work permit for Crown land can be issued by any Department of Sustainable Development office,
  • Parks and Natural Areas Branch is responsible for sites in provincial parks,
  • Forestry is responsible for provincial forests, and may require an additional general occupancy permit,
  • Mineral exploration is prohibited in wildlife management areas except under authority of a permit issued by the Minister of Sustainable Development or his/her designate. A wildlife management area use permit is issued by the Director of Wildlife and Ecosystem Protection Branch or the Regional Director. These permits are considered on a case-by-case basis.

Contact the Wildlife Lands Specialist for more information.

A work permit addresses the conditions that must be followed in working within an area, and deals specifically with your planned exploration activities. It also provides the necessary fire prevention measures required for operating in wooded areas.

Failure to comply with the terms and conditions of a work permit is an offense punishable by a fine of up to $10,000. Also, keep in mind, a work permit is issued annually and must then be renewed. If during that period, the level of activity changes significantly, then amendments must be made to your existing permit. In addition, if you are exploring in a provincial park, a separate work permit is required for each phase of exploration.

To apply, contact the Department of Sustainable Development:

  • Crown land: contact Lands and Geomatics Branch
  • Provincial parks: contact Parks and Natural Areas Branch
  • Provincial forest: contact Forestry
  • Wildlife management areas: contact Wildlife Lands Specialist, Wildlife and Ecosystem Protection Branch

Turnaround Time: The maximum period of time for all permit approvals in initial stages of exploration is 20 working days.

Forest Travel Permit

If you plan to travel through your exploration area when forest travel restrictions are in place, in accordance with Section 22 of the Fires Prevention Act, you will be required to carry a forest travel permit issued by Sustainable Development.

To apply: Check with the Department of Sustainable Development for the regional/district office located nearest to your project site.

Turnaround Time: Same day.

Airborne Surveys

When conducting an airborne survey in Manitoba, you must notify the Director of Mines of your intent to conduct the survey. Notice must be given regardless of whether you are surveying over lands covered by a mineral disposition, mineral lease or open Crown land.

Expenditures accrued as part of an airborne survey can be applied as required work on claims acquired after the survey if the survey was performed within one year prior to the date-of-issue of the Claims certificate. The amount applied to each claim is calculated according to the following formula:

(4 x A x B)/C

A = total survey cost
B = area of claims in hectares
C = area of survey in hectares


Send to: Submit your completed notice form to any of the Innovation, Energy and Mines offices listed on the form.

Turnaround Time: One week.

Survey reporting requirements are detailed in Manitoba Regulation 64/92 (Mineral Disposition and Mineral Lease Regulation).

Blasting Certificate

If your plans include the use of explosives, make sure a blasting certificate has been issued prior to beginning any work.

In Manitoba, companies are responsible for the training and licensing of all employees who will be doing the blasting work.

However, a description of the organization's blasting procedures and training programs must first be submitted for approval to the Director of Mines Inspection.

Where a corporate program is not in place, an individual can apply to the Mines Inspections Branch for an individual blasting licence. Should the individual have little experience, a Mines Inspector may recommend attendance at the Province's one-day blasting course. A blasting certificate will be issued upon successful completion of a test.

To Apply: Contact Dennis Fontaine, Acting Director, Mine Safety Branch, 204-677-6821

Turnaround Time: Same day to two days.

Storing Explosives

For your general reference, storage facilities of up to 75 kg. of explosives on your exploration site, must meet the standards as specified in Section 79(3) of Manitoba Regulation 212/2011 (Operation of Mines Regulation), the Workplace Safety and Health Act, W210.

If over 75 kg. of explosives are to be stored on the site, then you must obtain a magazine licence (see Section 78(2) of the same regulation).

To Apply: Submit your magazine plans including information such as:

  • The quantity; class and division of the explosives to be stored,
  • The proposed magazine construction specifications including locking devices, electrical equipment, ventilating provisions and heating devices (refer to Magazine Standards for Blasting Explosives and Detonators),
  • The proposed location of the magazine, either on the surface or underground.

Once the Mines Inspector has approved the plans and the magazine has been built and approved, then a magazine licence will be issued, specifying the maximum quantity of explosives to be stored, the location, and the expiry date of the licence.

Send to:

Mines Inspector
Mines Inspections Branch
200-401 York Avenue
Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada R3C 0P8
Telephone: 204-945-8083
Fax: 204-948-2209

Acts and Regulations

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