Exploration Rights

The claim is the only valid exploration right in Québec. The claim gives the holder an exclusive right to search for mineral substances in the public domain, except for sand, gravel, clay and other loose deposits, on the land subjected to the claim.

A claim can be obtained by map designation.

The first term of a claim is three years. It can then be renewed for two-year periods, provided that the claim holder meets the conditions stipulated in the Mining Act, including the carrying out of exploration work, the nature and amount of which is established by regulation.

The only acceptable method of submitting a notice of map designation for a claim is via GESTIM Plus .

The online publication Claims describes the procedure for obtaining and renewing a claim, along with the requirements relating to the compulsory work that must be carried out on each claim.

The ministère des Ressources naturelles et des Forêts has implemented the “Electronic Registrar” to automate the process of analyzing and registering map designated claims.

Authorization for impact-causing exploration work

The Ministère des Ressources naturelles et des Forêts has introduced a new authorization that must be obtained before carrying out impact-causing exploration work. The new authorization was added to the Act on April 12, 2022, and came into force on May 6, 2024. The purpose of the new authorization, known as the ATI authorization, is to ensure that the concerns of neighbouring local municipalities and Indigenous communities are taken into consideration while fostering a predictable framework conducive to mining development investments and providing for better control over the impact on their living environment from impact-causing exploration work. The ATI is based on a desire for transparency and harmonious conciliation of different land uses. It also allows the Department to impose conditions and obligations for work to be done on land covered by claims, so that the concerns about proposed mining exploration activities expressed by local municipalities and Indigenous communications are taken into consideration.

Thus, impact-causing exploration work must now be subject to authorization before being carried out. To do so, the claim holder must complete the Application for authorization of impact-causing exploration work (ATI) form before performing this work. For more information, please consult the Promoter’s Guide for Authorization of Impact-Causing Exploration Work and the pamphlet on ATI (in French only).

Video: Mineral exploration