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Copyright © 2000: Queens Printer,
Statutes of Newfoundland 1998
AN ACT TO AMEND THE MINERAL ACT
(Assented to December 15, 1998)
1. S.5 Amdt.
2. S.21 Amdt.
3. S.22 Amdt.
4. S.25.1 Added
5. S.31 R&S
6. S.32 R&S
7. S.35 Amdt.
8. S.38 Amdt.
9. S.41 Amdt.
10. S.42 Amdt.
11. S.45 Added
12. Abrogation of rights
13. No action
Be it enacted by the Lieutenant-Governor and House of Assembly in Legislative Session convened, as follows:
RSN1990 cM-12 as amended
1. (1) Subsection 5(4) of the Mineral Act is repealed and the following substituted:
(4) A person who intends to conduct a search for minerals on areas either licensed or leased under this Act shall submit a description of the planned exploration work before starting the work, and when that work involves an activity that the department considers capable of causing ground disturbance, water quality impairments or disruption to wildlife or wildlife habitat, the work shall begin only after the department has issued an exploration approval with terms and conditions prescribed by the minister.
(2) Section 5 of the Act is amended by adding immediately after subsection (4) the following:
(5) A person who begins work without an exploration approval or who fails to comply with the terms and conditions of an exploration approval under subsection (4) commits an offence.
2. (1) Subsection 21(1) of the Act is amended by deleting the words "must be delivered" and substituting the words "shall be submitted either in person or by mail".
(2) Section 21 of the Act is further amended by adding immediately after subsection (4) the following:
(5) Notwithstanding subsection (2), where an area is made available for map staking following rescinding of a regulation under paragraph 4(1)(b), an order under subsection 9(2) or a notice under section 27, applications for map staked licences for portions or all of the area coming open for staking may be submitted either in person or by mail during the period from the date of publication of the regulation, order or notice to the effective date, and where more than one application is received, the priority of applications shall be determined by a draw to be conducted by the recorder as prescribed by the regulations.
3. Subsection 22(4) of the Act is amended by deleting the word "the" immediately before the word "licence" wherever it appears and substituting the words "a ground staked".
4. The Act is amended by adding immediately after section 25 the following:
25.1 (1) The holder of a licence may at any time during the currency of the licence request to have the licence split into two or more smaller licences, and
(a) where the split requires the subdivision of a ground staked claim, the boundaries of the separated areas shall be tagged and physically staked in the manner required by paragraph 21(1)(d); and
(b) for a map staked licence, new descriptions for the new licences shall be submitted by the licence holder.
(2) Excess assessment work credit for the original licence shall be proportionally assigned to the new licences.
(3) The date of issuance of the new licences shall be considered to be the same as for the original licence for which the split was requested.
5. Section 31 of the Act is repealed and the following substituted:
31. (1) A holder of a licence who wishes to obtain a mining lease of the unalienated minerals in, on or under the land or part of the land covered by the licence must insure that an application for the lease is received by the minister during the currency of the licence.
(2) A holder of a licence who delivers an application under subsection (1) has a right to the issuing of a mining lease for the reasonable period, not exceeding 25 years, that the minister may determine, but only if the following provisions of this section are complied with.
(3) A person shall not obtain a mining lease under this section unless
(a) all the terms, provisions and conditions of or pertaining to the licence held by the applicant for the lease have been complied with during its currency;
(b) the person has
(i) submitted a survey of the perimeter of the area covered by the application which has been carried out by a qualified land surveyor,
(ii) submitted a certified plan of survey with the surveyor’s notes and a proper description of the land described in the application for the lease; and
(c) the land is marked in the manner prescribed by regulation.
(4) Notwithstanding subsection (3), where the licence held by the applicant for a lease has existed for a period of 3 years or less, a lease shall not be issued under this Act until all the assessment work required for the first 3 years of the licence has been completed and all reports required by this Act and the regulations respecting that assessment work and accounts of expenditure are made for those years.
(5) A lease issued under this Act
(a) must be signed by the minister and the person holding it as lessee;
(b) is subject to the following conditions:
(i) that the lessee pays in advance an annual rental of an amount calculated in accordance with the formulae prescribed by regulation for the area of land to which it applies,
(ii) that the lessee shall start mineral production capable of extracting a mineral or a mineral ore in saleable quantities within 5 years from the date of the beginning of the lease and maintain that production without cessation except for a period totalling 5 years during the remainder of the period covered by the lease,
(iii) that the minister, and the other officers of the department that are authorized by the minister, having a right at reasonable times to enter a mine being operated by the lessee or land held by the lessee in connection with the working of the minerals demised by the lease and to search, view, inspect and inquire into the condition of that mine or land and to inspect the books of account relating to the working of a mine and minerals or mineral ores being extracted from the land described in the lease,
(iv) that the lessee fulfils and observes the requirements of all statutes of the province and of Canada and regulations, orders and directions made under those statutes in respect of or relating to the premises demised by the lease, including environmental control, maintenance of health, building and operational standards, the making of returns and reports and the doing or refraining from doing a matter or thing required to be done or not to be done under or by those statutes,
(v) that the lessee complies with all provisions prescribed by regulation pertaining to the lease,
(vi) that the lessee shall, where ordered to do so by the Lieutenant-Governor in Council, complete primary production, in whole or in part, in the province, of a mineral or mineral ore extracted or removed under the lease, and
(vii) that the lessee shall comply with those other terms and conditions that the minister may impose;
(c) subject to the conditions referred to in paragraph (b), confers upon the lessee the exclusive right to develop, extract, remove, deal with, sell, mortgage or otherwise dispose of all the unalienated minerals, or those specified in the lease, in, on or under the land described in the lease; and
(d) may be assigned or, in relation to a specific mineral or class of mineral, sublet to a person with the consent of the minister, which consent shall not be unreasonably withheld.
(6) The minister shall upon receipt of a written application from a lessee no later than 3 months before the expiration of the term of a lease, or 3 months before the expiration of a subsequent term, and upon being satisfied that the terms and conditions of the lease have been complied with before the application, renew the lease, for a further term not exceeding 10 years from the date of expiry of the original term of the lease, or prior extension, upon the terms and conditions that the minister considers appropriate.
Purpose and order
31.1 (1) For the purpose of this Act, mineral and mineral ores in the province are considered to be an exhaustible resource which need to be conserved and utilized in a manner which maximizes the benefit for the province, its population and economy or for regional economic development.
(2) The Lieutenant-Governor in Council may, where it is of the opinion that as a matter of public convenience or general policy it is in the best interest of the province, order a person holding a lease issued under section 31 to complete primary production, in whole or in part, in the province, of a mineral or mineral ore extracted or removed under that lease, and may vary or rescind that order.
(3) The Lieutenant-Governor in Council may by order exempt the holder of a lease from completing primary production, in whole or in part, in the province, on those terms and conditions as may be prescribed by that order and may rescind that order.
(4) For the purpose of this Act, "primary production" means production resulting from smelting, processing or refining a mineral or mineral ore and includes the concentrating and milling of any mineral or mineral ore and all metallurgical operations in which metal or minerals are separated from those impurities with which they may be chemically combined or physically mixed.
6. Section 32 of the Act is repealed and the following substituted:
Waiving of obligations
32. The minister shall, upon being satisfied upon reasonable cause shown that a lessee is unable to comply with the obligations contained in subparagraph 31(5)(b)(ii), relieve the lessee of the obligations for a period and on the terms and conditions that the minister considers appropriate.
7. Subsection 35(1) of the Act is amended by adding immediately after paragraph (a) the following:
(a.1) that the lessee has failed to comply with an order made under section 31.1; ".
8. Section 38 of the Act is amended by renumbering it as subsection 38(1) and by adding immediately after that subsection the following:
(2) The board does not have the jurisdiction to hear or determine a question, matter or dispute relating to an order made under section 31.1 or to the cancellation of a lease where that cancellation results from an order made under section 31.1.
9. Paragraph 41(e) of the Act is amended by deleting the word "and" at the end of subparagraph (iv), by deleting the semicolon at the end of subparagraph (v) and substituting a comma and the word "and" and by adding immediately after subparagraph (v) the following:
(vi) where an area is made re-available for map staking, the procedures and manner of conducting a draw to determine the priority of applications received for map staked licenses;
10. Subsection 42(1) of the Act is amended by striking out the amount "$2,000" and substituting the amount "$10,000."
11. The Act is amended by adding immediately after section 44 the following:
45. An action or proceeding, including an action or proceeding for compensation or damages, shall not lie against the Crown for or in respect of a matter or dispute relating to an order made under section 31.1 or to the cancellation of a lease where that cancellation results from a failure to fulfil, perform or comply with the terms and conditions of an order made under section 31.1.
Abrogation of rights
12. (1) A right, privilege, obligation or liability vested, acquired, accruing, accrued or incurred by a person under the Mineral Act with respect to a lease under the Mineral Act which has not been issued under the Mineral Act, where that right, privilege, obligation or liability was vested, acquired, accruing, accrued or incurred on or after January 1, 1993 and before the coming into force of this section, is cancelled and abrogated, and that person shall be considered to have a right, privilege, obligation or liability with respect to a lease which may be issued under the provisions of the Mineral Act in force immediately after the coming into force of this section.
(2) A lease issued under the Mineral Act on or after January 1, 1993 and before the coming into force of this section shall be considered to have been issued under the provisions of the Mineral Act in force immediately after the coming into force of this section.
13. An action or proceeding, including an action or proceeding for compensation or damages shall not lie against the Crown for or in respect of
(a) a cancellation or abrogation of a right, privilege, obligation or liability under section 12; and
(b) the substitution of a right, privilege, obligation or liability arising out of the issue of a lease under the Mineral Act in force immediately after the coming into force of this section in accordance with the requirements of section 12.
14. Sections 5, 7, 8 and 11 of this Act are considered to have come into force on January 1, 1993.
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