On July 1, 2012, changes to the Mineral Tenure Act Regulation will come into effect in British Columbia.
The good news is that many of the current registration fees will be eliminated including fees for registration of exploration and development work, registration of payment of cash in lieu of work, registration of portable assessment credits, amalgamations, reduction of cell claims and transfer of ownership.
The number of cells per claim that can be selected will be increased from 25 to 100 per acquisition. The fees, however, will increase for registration of mineral claims from $.0.40 per hectare to $1.75 and from $2.00 per hectare to $5.00 per hectare for placer claims.
In addition, the new assessment requirements will increase from the present $4.00 per hectare in each of the first three years and $8.00 per hectare thereafter to $5.00 per hectare for years one and two, $10.00 per hectare for years three and four, $15.00 per hectare for years five and six and $28.00 per hectare for each subsequent year.
The assessment work for placer claims will increase from $10.00 per hectare to $20.00 per hectare per year.
The result is that new assessment work being filed on claims will create, in effect, new anniversary dates such that new assessment filings will commence with the new process starting with the first year in which the new assessment would apply. As an example, if a claim is good until 2015 and new assessment work is filed in 2012, the assessment work for 2016 and 2017 would be $5.00 per hectare commencing in 2016.
Payments by cash in lieu will double for each of the time periods and the new minimum time frame for filing cash in lieu will be six months rather than the current one day.
Mineral lease rentals will also increase from $10.00 per hectare to $20.00 per hectare and placer lease rentals will increase from $5.00 per hectare to $20.00 per hectare.
It will also be possible to subdivide claims consisting in two or more cells. Any assessment work on such claims would be divided among the number of cells.