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Department of Natural Resources

Mineral Exploration: Licence

Who Needs This Licence?
Anyone in Nova Scotia who wants to:
a. prospect and search for minerals;
b. extract minerals for test purposes; and
c. apply for a mining lease within an area designated by the licence.

This licence includes all minerals except Coal, Salt, Potash, Uranium, and Geothermal reserves.

Note: This licence does not apply to Gypsum or non-crown Limestone, which are not classified as minerals in Nova Scotia.

Issuing Department / Agency:
N.S. Department of Natural Resources

Where can you get further information?
Registry of Mineral and Petroleum Titles
N.S. Department of Natural Resources

Tel: 902-424-4068
Fax: 902-424-7735

Office Location:
Founders Square
3rd floor
1701 Hollis Street
Halifax, NS B3J 3M8

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 698
Halifax, NS B3J 2T9
Application Forms & Process:
Prospector registration and Applications for mineral rights are now done online. Please visit:
Waiting Period:

Exploration License: 14 business days

Method 1 Renewal: 27 business days

Assessment Report (Technical Report or Prospector Statement); Statement of Expenditure; Certificate of Compliance (Issued by Registrar)

Method 2 Renewal: 10 business days

Payment in Lieu of Work (once every 5 years); Certificate of Compliance (Issued by Registrar)

Tender for Mineral Rights: 21 business days

Expiry & Renewal:
This licence is valid for 1 year from the date it is issued, and is renewable. A Statement of Expenditures form and an assessment report must accompany the renewal application.

Price:  (No tax is charged)
Initial application and Annual Renewal
Year 1: $10.00 per claim
Years 2-10: $20.00 per claim
Years 11-15: $40.00 per claim
Years 16-25: $160.00 per claim
Years 26 and after: $320.00 per claim

Related Requirements:
  1. Before the licence is issued:
    1. The applicant is required to submit Licensee Information (Form #7).
    2. Proprietorship / Partnership / Syndicated Corporate applicants must be registered with the Registry of Joint Stock Companies
  2. Before work begins:
    1. The applicant requires the landowner permission before entering on any land for purposes of exploration.
    2. In case of crown lands: The applicant needs permission of the Land Administration Division of the N.S. Department of Natural Resources.
    3. For drilling, a drilling notification form is required.
    4. For pitting / stripping by mechanized means or by manual means at depths greater than 1 meter, Mineral or Treasure Trove: Excavation Registration, N.S. Department of Natural Resources, is required. This Registration is also required for any underground exploration work.
    5. All work conducted pursuant to this Registration must be done in compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act, the Environment Act, and all other pertinent legislation.
Additional Information:

Legislative Authority:
Mineral Resources Act, Statutes of Nova Scotia, 1990, Chapter 18, Section 28.

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