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Department of Natural Resources

Excavation Registration

Who Needs This Registration?
Anyone who wants to perform mineral exploration excavations in Nova Scotia, either onshore or offshore. Anyone who is doing excavations under the Oak Island Treasure Act is also required to obtain this Registration.

The Registration authorizes manual pitting / trenching over 1.0 meter deep, mechanized trenching / pitting or stripping, and underground exploration on mineral exploration licences and Oak Island treasure licences to a maximum of 100 tonnes. Beyond that maximum, a letter of authority is required from the Director of Mines of the N.S. Department of Natural Resources.
Issuing Department / Agency:
N.S. Department of Natural Resources

Where can you get further information?
Mineral Development and Policy Section
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:
Excavation Registration and Applications for mineral rights are now done online. Please visit:
Waiting Period:
7-10 business days
Expiry & Renewal:
This Registration is valid for the dates specified on it. This period includes the time required to do the work and reclaim the site. It is not renewable.


Related Requirements:
    1. Proof of landowner permission is required.
    2. Crown Lands: Lease - (Private Enterprise and non-Profit), N.S. Department of Natural Resources, if applicable.
    3. Mineral Exploration: Licence, or Mineral Exploration: Special Licence, or Oak Island Treasure: Licence, N.S. Department of Natural Resources, if applicable.
    4. Environmental Assessment Approval, N.S. Environment and Labour, if applicable.
    5. All work conducted pursuant to this Registration must be done in compliance with the Mineral Resources Act, the Occupational Health and Safety Act, the Environment Act, and all other pertinent legislation.
    6. The Minister of N.S. Department of Natural Resources may require a bond for certain projects.
    1. Exploration Monitoring (N.S. Dept. of Natural Resources)
    2. Mining Engineering (N.S. Dept. of Natural Resources)
    3. N.S. Environment
    4. Regional Geologists (N.S. Dept. of Natural Resources)
    5. N.S. Environment
    6. If applicable, N.S. Museum (see N.S. Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage)
    7. Labour and Advanced Education
Additional Information:

Legislative Authority:
Mineral Resources Act, Statutes of Nova Scotia, 1990, Chapter 18, Section 101(1)., Oak Island Treasure Act Bill No. 81

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