Re: “Outdated mining rules trump privacy in B.C,” Jan. 31.
The opinion piece spoke against the concept of free entry by miners and prospectors ostensibly to all kinds of existing land tenures, whether public or private. In fact, while free entry is a basic tenet of mineral policy in all Canadian and most American jurisdictions, it requires a prospecting licence and is restricted to Crown (not private) lands in Canada and to federal lands in the U.S.
In B.C., a prospecting licence (or Free Miners Certificate) is available to all Canadian citizens by way of passing a knowledge test and the payment of an annual fee. This allows the holder of an FMC to enter Crown lands to prospect for minerals and to register mineral claims or tenures using the Mineral Titles Online system. There is a significant cost component to the acquisition and maintenance of mineral tenures, and permitting is required to undertake exploratory and development work.
This system, which has evolved over time, has served this province well. The value of mineral production in 2012, from a total area no larger than Greater Victoria, exceeded $7 billion, while exploration expenditures of more than $600 million were mainly spent in the rural and remote parts of the province where it is much welcomed.
© Copyright 2013