Which Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) department is responsible for administration of mineral exploration and mine operations activities after Devolution?

On April 1, 2014, the Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment (ITI) became responsible for administration of mineral exploration activities (mineral tenure, royalties) under the modernized Mining Regulations. Mine operations activities (e.g. water and land use) will continue to be regulated under theMackenzie Valley Resource Management Act (MVRMA), which will remain a federal responsibility.

ITI will continue to have responsibility for the negotiation and administration of Socio-Economic Agreements and facilitating and enabling employment and business development associated with mineral exploration and mine development and operations.

What happened to existing prospecting permits, mineral claims and mining leases after Devolution?

The Devolution Agreement specifies that existing interests will continue under the same terms and conditions that were in effect at the time of transfer and will remain in effect until the interest is surrendered or is cancelled. Active mineral tenure on public lands will be administered by the GNWT after Transfer Date.

Certain parcels of lands (surface and/or subsurface) remained under federal administration post-Devolution. Mineral claims and mining leases within these parcels will continue to be administered by Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC).  Permit and lease holders have been notified as to which jurisdiction will be their administrator. If you have not received your notification, please contact the Mining Recorder’s Office.

How can I differentiate between federal lands and territorial (NWT public lands) after the Transfer Date?

Under the Devolution Agreement, the majority of lands in the NWT are under the administration and control of the GNWT. Certain parcels in the NWT do not fall under territorial administration, including settlement lands (e.g., lands that are the responsibility of Aboriginal governments pursuant to a settled land claim) or waste sites being retained by AANDC. The Mining Recorder’s Office will host a map tool, available through a Mineral Tenure Map that allows you to view claims and will identify parcels of lands that fall under different jurisdictions.

Where will the Mining Recorder’s Office be located?

The Mining Recorder’s Office is part of the Mineral Resources Division within ITI and will remain at its existing location in the Gallery Bulding, located in Yellowknife, NWT.

How do I get a Prospector's Licence after April 1, 2014?

Licences for public lands will be administered by the GNWT but new and existing licences for activities on federal lands will continue to be administered by AANDC. Current licence holders have been notified as to which jurisdiction will administer their properties.  If you have not received your notification, please contact the Mining Recorder’s Office.

You will still go to the Mining Recorder's office to get your Prospector's Licence for activities on Public Lands in the NWT.

How will I stake a claim that falls across the NWT and Nunavut border?

Trans-boundary claims were no longer accepted after Devolution. If you are staking claims near the NWT/Nunavut border, you will be required to stake wholly on one side or the other.

Existing trans-boundary claims will be split as they will be administered by separate jurisdictions after the transfer. 

What legislation is transferring to the GNWT?

AANDC’s current Northwest Territories and Nunavut Mining Regulations (NTNMRs) are being modernized and will be separated; one set for NWT and one for Nunavut. The GNWT will be adopting and mirroring the modernized NWT Mining Regulations to ensure a seamless transfer.

How did Devolution affect royalty rates?

The GNWT collects royalties following the transfer. There will be no changes to the royalty rates established under the NWT Mining Regulations for the foreseeable future. 

Who do I talk to about administration of royalties?

ITI administers the royalty regime established under the NWT Mining Regulations through its Financial Analysis and Royalties Administration Division.

What happened to securities after Devolution?

Where the administration and control of a licence or permit transfered to the GNWT, the GNWT will also administer the associated security. ITI will administer securities associated with mineral claims and mining leases.

Securities (i.e. work deposits) held by the Mining Recorder’s Office will be transferred to the GNWT. The Prospecting Permit Guidelines, issued this year, include instructions to make any non-cash deposits for permit applications payable to the GNWT (as they would only become active after April 1, 2014).