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 What Do I Need for Prospecting?                                     TUTORIAL VIDEO LOWER ON PAGE


The first thing you will need is a Free Miners Certificate, these are available through your local Government Agents Office, the cost is currently $25.00 and I will explain the requirements that will have to be met to take to acquire a FMC.


You will need two pieces of Identification.


 You must be 18 years of age or older and ordinarily a resident of Canada for not less than 183 days in each calendar year, or be authorized by the federal government of Canada to work in Canada (proof of authorization must be provided). 

 A Canadian citizen, regardless of where he/she resides, is authorized to work in Canada by virtue of their citizenship.


As Holder Of A Free Miner Certificate, You Have Certain Rights Set Out In The Mineral Tenure Act And Mineral Tenure Act Regulation. 

These Rights Come With Responsibilities.

You may enter onto mineral lands for the purpose of exploring for, developing and producing minerals or placer minerals.  “Mineral lands” is defined in the Act as meaning those lands in which minerals or placer minerals or the right to explore for, develop and produce minerals or placer minerals is vested in or reserved to the government.  In some cases, this may include private surface.  However, you must recognize the following:

·  The right to enter does not extend to land within the curtilage of a dwelling house, land occupied by a building, cultivated land, or orchard land.

·  You are liable to compensate the owner of private surface for any loss or damage caused by the entry, occupation or use of that land by yourself or an agent.

·  You must give written notice to the owner of private surface if you intend to perform work with mechanical equipment that will disturb the surface.  A copy of this notice must be provided to the Chief Gold Commissioner and the regional Inspector under the Mines Act within 30 days of delivering it to the owner of the surface.

·  It is strongly recommended that you provide advance notice to the owner of private land before you enter upon that land for any purpose related to a mineral title.

·  Section 19 of the Mineral Tenure Act sets out the provisions governing any dispute between a recorded holder of a mineral title and the owner or occupier of private land respecting your entry onto that land.

You may use the surface of a mineral or placer title for mining purposes only.  A claim or lease does not convey any residential or recreational rights to the holder.


A permit under the Mines Act and Code is required before you commence surface disturbance work by mechanical means on a mineral or placer title.  A permit is required from the appropriate agency before you cut trees, use water, etc.  No work should be commenced without approval from the Regional Mines Act Inspector.


A FMC does not authorize you to hunt, fish, or acquire or carry a firearm.



The next step to complete before you head out to the hills to go prospecting is to go online and check out the Mineral Titles Online website, through this site you will see what areas are open to placer staking as well as which lands are already claimed or staked.  The maps on MTO are colour coded; here is a simple explanation of what the colours represent:

Green Shaded Areas: Parks, Ecological, and Indian Reservations or Treaty Settlement Lands.

Gray Shaded Areas: Private or Leased Property.

Light Pink Areas: Placer Staking Areas.

Outlined Dark Pink: Staked Placer Claim.

Blue Shaded Areas: Water




         Mineral Titles Online Map, yellow outlined area; Authors Placer Claim





202,432.0 sq. metres

Point 1:

122° 15' 28" W
52° 15' 30" N

Point 2:

122° 15' 50" W
52° 15' 30" N

Point 3:

122° 15' 50" W
52° 15' 45" N

Point 4:

122° 15' 27" W
52° 15' 45" N




Now it is possible to get the GPS coordinates by selecting the area measuring option and then moving the cursor to the corners of the claim and clicking on the individual corners, these will be in Longitude and Latitude measurements which you can write down and program into your hand held GPS device.  Or you can copy and paste the whole arrangements to your copy of the map for us in the field.  This will aid you in the field so that you don’t end up being accused of claim jumping.






               Mineral Titles Online Map, Fraser River – Williams Lake - Soda Creek Area




Now on this MTO map you are able to see the different private, Indian Reservations, Placer Claims and there is any area along the Fraser River that is also a Recreation Reserve, this doesn’t mean that you cannot stake a claim here, what it does mean is that the surface rights of recreation users must be respected and allowed.

The pink area are open to placer claim staking and all other areas other than the before mentioned Park, Indian Reservation, Treaty Settlement are open for Prospecting as long as you obey the rules and some simple common courtesy’s.


Check the Placer and Mineral Tenures out on the MTO site before going panning or prospecting, as Recreational Panning is not allowed on Placer or Mineral Claims/Leases with out the expressed permission of the Title Holder, advisable to have it in Writing.





A nice days gold recovery out on my China Creek Claim, summer 2010

My older brother learning how to pan for gold, he’s learning, but has a ways to go yet. 2010

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