May 21, 2009
FREDERICTON (CNB) - Amendments to the Mining Act were introduced today by Natural Resources Minister Wally Stiles that will take mineral-claim staking into the computer age.
"These amendments will make it possible to move to an online electronic map-staking system that will enable anyone with a computer to stake a claim from anywhere in the world," said Stiles. "Just as importantly, New Brunswickers will be able to go online to see the status of any claims registered in their area."
The NB e-CLAIMS system is scheduled to come online on Jan. 1, 2010, at a projected cost of about $1 million.
Traditionally, mineral claims staking has been done on the ground by a person holding a valid New Brunswick prospecting licence.
Last June, the provincial government suspended ground-claim staking to address concerns from landowners over the right of prospectors to go on their properties them to stake a mineral claim without notifying them.
Claim-staking resumed in November following the development of an interim system whereby prospectors selected claim units on a map-based grid system and applied by fax for the right to undertake exploration. The interim system will remain in place until the new system starts.
Stiles said the NB e-CLAIMS system will provide for the online viewing of all mineral-claim information as well as the online acquisition and maintenance of mineral claims. This will include the payment of fees and deposits associated with the mineral-claim acquisition and claim maintenance.
"The introduction of Internet-based map-staking will modernize the province's process for mineral-claim staking and ensure information on claim staking is accessible to the public," he said.
Once the system is implemented, all new claims will be made online, and prospectors will not be permitted to stake claims on the ground. By Dec. 31, 2011, all existing ground-staked mineral claims will be converted to online, map-based claims.
More than 35,000 claims are staked in the province.
MEDIA CONTACT: Matt Jones, communications, Department of Natural Resources, 506-453-2614, e-mail: email@example.com.