Conversion of Staked Claims into Unit Claims (Principles and Illustrated Examples)

Expansion principle

On the 91st day after the coming into force of the new regulations, there will be a one-time mandatory conversion of all staked (ground) mineral claims except claims subject to a mining lease. All existing (ground staked) claims that are not contiguous to other claims will be expanded to include the entire available area of all grid units they occupy. The objective is to eliminate all areas of open Crown lands (free spaces) within a unit. Multiple ground claims within a unit will be dealt with based on the "first come, first served" principle, i.e. the claim that was staked first will be expanded to fill all the open (free) space within a unit. No claim will be reduced as a consequence of the one-time mandatory conversion, but the possibility to reduce a claim will be offered to claim owners afterwards.

1) Claim not contiguous with another claim

An existing claim that is not contiguous with other claims will be expanded to include the entire available area of all grid units it occupies.

2) Two or more claims contiguous without any free space

In a situation where there are two or more claims and no free space in a unit, no claim will be expanded. All claims will keep their initial boundaries.

3) Two or more claims and free space in a unit

In a situation where there are two or more claims and free space in a unit, the claim that was staked first will be expanded to include the entire free space in the grid unit the claim occupies.

4) One or more claims, an encumbrance and free space in a unit

We defined "encumbrance" as land within a unit that can't be acquired as part of the claim.

In a situation where there are one or more claims, an encumbrance and free space in a unit, the claim that was staked first will be expanded to include the entire free space in the grid unit the claim occupies, excluding the area covered by the encumbrance.

First scenario

Second scenario

Claims subject to a lease issued under the former (2014) regulations will not be converted into unit claims. In a situation where there is a mining lease (encumbrance), an existing claim and free space in a unit, the existing claim will be expanded to include the area of the unit that is not occupied by the leased claim.

Third scenario - a claim, a prospecting permit (encumbrance) and free space

During the one-time conversion period, a prospecting permit will be considered an "encumbrance".

In a situation where there is a claim, a prospecting permit and free space in the same unit, the claim that was staked first will be expanded to include the entire free space in the grid unit the claim occupies. The expanded claim will not cover the prospecting permit area even if the claim and the permit are owned by the same person.

Reduction principle

There will be no fee for reduction under the new regulations and there will be no limit to the number of units that can be removed from a claim; however, the units comprised in any claim after reduction will need to be contiguous and "donut claims" will not be allowed. In addition, during the first year of the coming into force of the new regulations, the obligation to have done work on converted claims in order to reduce them will not apply.

1) Claim not contiguous with another claim

In a situation where:

  • a claim, not contiguous with any other claim, was expanded to fill all the free space in a unit, and
  • the claim holder does not want to keep all the units included in his expanded claim,

the claim holder can apply to reduce the area of his claim by removing entire units.

2) Two claims in a unit

In a situation where there are two claims in a unit and one claim holder doesn't want to keep his part of claim in this unit; the claim holder can apply to reduce the area of his claim by removing his part of claim from the unit.

First scenario – Claim holder B applies to reduce his claim part in one of the unit: Claim A will be expanded to fill all the space left by Claim B.

Second scenario – Claim holder A applies to reduce his claim part in one of the unit: Claim B will be expanded to fill all the space left by Claim A.

3) More than two claims in a unit

In a situation where there are more than two claims in a unit and one claim holder doesn't want to keep his part of the claim in this unit; this claim holder can apply to reduce the area of his claim by removing his part of claim from the unit. After the reduction of one of the claim, the claim holder that had his claim staked first among the remaining claims will be next to be expanded to fill all the newly free space in the unit.

In the example below, Claim holder A applies to reduce his claim part in the three units that are contiguous with Claims B and C. In the unit that comprises the three claims, Claim B - which was the second to be staked - will be expanded to fill all the space left by Claim A.

Prospection permits principles

The provisions of the Nunavut Mining Regulations on prospecting permits will be repealed. It will no longer be possible to apply for a prospecting permit. The life cycle of the prospecting permits in the former (2014) Regulations will be followed which means that permits will be allowed until they expired of cancelled. A permittee will continue to have the exclusive right to acquire a claim within his permit zone if he satisfies to the minimal cost of work requirements i.e. at least $0.25 per hectares in the permit. Then, the area covered by the unit claim acquired by the permittee will no longer form part of his permit zone.

1) No unit claim adjacent to the prospecting permit

Boundaries of prospecting permits coincide with longitudes and latitudes – they do not coincide with unit claims grid boundaries. For that reason, units on prospecting permits boundaries typically include a free space. In a situation where there is a prospecting permit and a free space within a unit, the permittee who wish to select a claim within this unit will acquire the full unit as a claim. If a licensee is not the permittee, for instance Mr. C in the example below, this licensee can acquires a claim adjacent to the prospecting permit zone but his claim will exclude the permit area.

2) Unit claim adjacent to a prospecting permit

In a situation where an existing unit claim is adjacent to a prospecting permit boundary, the permittee can acquire a unit claim within his prospecting permit zone only. The permittee cannot acquire a claim within the portion of the unit that is covered by the existing claim.

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