Home » Placer Mining in BC » Private Land
I am not an expert on mining law - I am just trying to help. Use the information in this website at your own risk. See the Notice at the bottom of this page.If you have a Free Miner Certificate, you can use and/or cross private land for mining purposes. There are many rules, including limits on where you can go.
The same rules apply to Crown Land Leases. On this page, "private land" means both.
The simple approach is to stay off private land. This works in much of the Cariboo and Omineca, but not along parts of the Fraser River.
To see private land on MTO maps, see the Private Land section of the Making Maps page.
Notice may be given by mail, email, fax or hand-delivered to the owner. More information and the correct form to use are available on the government's Landowner Notification page.
It seems that you don't need the landowner's consent, but if the owner objects, you can't enter the land until you make an agreement.
In most cases, you can find the owner of private land by...
The two map-layers we care about are:
Land Act Survey Parcels - Tantalis - Legal Descriptions
Land Act Survey Parcels - Tantalis - Outlines
These layers are in the third layer group: Crown Land Layers - Tantalis.
If these layers have been turned off, they must be turned back on. The map must be zoomed in enough to see the light grey Survey Parcel outlines.
Turn on Identify Features - click the white "i" in a circle on
the horizontal blue bar at the top-left of the map. You can select
which layer to use - you want the layer:
Land Act Survey Parcels - Tantalis - Legal Descriptions".
You can click on the map in the private property (a survey parcel). Information will be displayed to the right of the map. If you run the mouse-cursor down this list to the right, it will highlight the property. (There may be a larger block that contains the property; it can generally be ignored.)
Click on the down arrow/triangle beside the number for the survey parcel and information about the parcel will be displayed. You want the Parcel Legal Description, which might look like...
"DISTRICT LOT 1234, LILLOOET DISTRICT"
For more information, you can click on the link near the top of the info about a parcel, you can get a variety of information, possibly including...
The rules are set up to give the owner time to object, and then make an agreement, without anyone starting a lawsuit.
If the landowner objects, steps are followed until you get an agreement...
APPLICATION FOR EXEMPTION (PDF)
Information Update No. 7 - A Guide to Surface and Subsurface Rights and Responsibilities in British Columbia (PDF) is about the whole process for you and the landowner
Information Update No. 29b - Notice Requirements for Mining Activities on Private Land and Land Act Leases (PDF) is about giving notice, what to do if you can't, online tools to find private land and owners, and applying costs to the work required to renew your claim
Landowner Notification page has another good summary about entering private land, plus links to an FAQ, how to find out who owns land, some online tools, and the two forms to do with giving notice - for the forms, see the links at the bottom of this page.
Mining Right of Way Act is about using existing roads and build roads on private land
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