Placer Mining in BC

Information and Resources

Home » Placer Mining in BC » Private Land

Private Land

Using Private Land and Crown Land Leases

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 get a claim on private land, and you can, with restrictions, use private land for placer mining activities.

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.

The Short Story

You can get a claim on private land. You can, with exceptions, use private land to... You must give notice to the owner at least 8 days before entering private land, and pay compensation for any loss or damage.

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.

Exceptions to the Right to Enter

The right to enter private land does not include...

The Process

When you give notice that you will enter private land, it must have your contact information and describe what you intend to do.

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...

  1. The owner contacts you and you try to make an agreement.
  2. You or the owner can ask the Mineral Titles to help you make an agreement by contacting Mineral.Titles@gov.bc.ca or 1-866-616-4999.
  3. If this doesn't work, you or the owner can apply to the Surface Rights Board and they will try to help, and if necessary, they will make an agreement that you and the owner have to follow.
If you legally use private land for a right of way (ex. to build a road or setup a conveyor belt) without the owner's consent, the Expropriation Act applies. It will take some time for the government to come up with an agreement that applies to you and the land owner, and you will have to pay the owner for the use of the land.

Private Land and Mineral Rights

It is rare, but if you discover that a piece of private land has the placer mineral rights, it means that you can't get a claim on it. If the owner tells you that the land has the mineral rights and it matters to you, it is usually best to turn the problem over to the right kind of land expert.

Learning the Details

There are many rules that come from many laws and documents. The links below help by providing both summaries and many details that you need if you are going to enter private land.

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

Forms for Landowner Notification

LANDOWNER NOTIFICATION form (PDF)

APPLICATION FOR EXEMPTION (PDF) that you use if you can't serve notice to the landowner


Notices

Copyright 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 by Brian Marshall     brian@bcplacer.com

All images on this website are copyrighted by their owners and they may not be downloaded for other than personal use - republication, retransmission, reproduction or other use is prohibited.

INFORMATION PROVIDED BY THIS WEBSITE IS PROVIDED "AS IS", WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF ACCURACY, MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NON-INFRINGEMENT. USE AT YOUR OWN RISK.

Contact   Privacy Policy