Mineral Prospecting and Exploration

Prospecting vs Exploration

BC Mining Issue:There is no legal requirement for the government or a mining company to notify, consult, or get consent from First Nations before prospecting occurs on their traditional territories.

Fair Mining Best Practice:Require prospectors and mining companies to obtain consent from First Nations before entering their traditional territories.

Prospecting refers to the search for mineral deposits and usually involves low-impact and non-mechanical activities. By contrast, exploration activities tend to be more intrusive and require heavy machinery for road building, drilling and blasting.

In BC, prospecting activities can be performed by anyone with a Free Miner Certificate while exploration activities require government approval in the form of a mine permit obtained by filling out a Notice of Work application.

A Free Miner Certificate only requires a nominal $25 fee and the filling out of an application to show you meet the following requirements:

  • An individual over 18
  • Resident of Canada for at least 183 days or authorized to work in Canada.
  • A Canadian corporation; or
  • Partnership consisting of individuals or corporations. 


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