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The Quebec Mining Exploration Association seeks continuous improvement of its members’ social and environmental economic performance. In this context, AEMQ has developed a managerial approach to proper business ethics in the territories where our exploration activities are conducted.

We are pleased to introduce our Guide for Responsible Exploration in Municipal Territories. This guide aims to encourage our members to follow the same rules of conduct. The guide also aims to establish minimum conditions for conducting prospecting and exploration activities in municipal territories that are standardized across the territory of Quebec.

The objective of the Guide for Responsible Exploration in Municipal Territories is to establish a clear and transparent process of interaction between stakeholders, including holders of mining rights, landowners and managers of municipalities where work is to be done.

Since this guide is part of an ongoing process to improve responsible practices, your comments are highly welcome.

Be assured that the AEMQ continues to monitor these issues and will remain alert to changes in legislation affecting our exploration practices. We will keep you informed as changes in the Government of Quebec’s activities evolve in this regard.

Your contribution to the evolution of our scientific and industrial practices is essential to promoting the development of sustainable exploration projects that respect the communities that we work with on a daily basis.

Thank you for your interest

Phase I - Before Work Begins
Once you have obtained certificate of mining titles (claims) from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Wildlife (MRNF), you must contact the municipal official responsible for managing physical operations on the territory. It can either be the City Inspector, the Chief of Planning, the Licensing Authority or the Secretary-Treasurer. It is also recommended to meet the mayor of the municipality to introduce your company and discuss your intentions and approach.

1.1 Preparing your information package

You must develop an information package that describes planned activities and submit it to the municipal authorities. The package shall include (i) a work plan, (ii) copies of permits obtained from the Government and, if required, confirmation of the landowner’s consent (the landowner of the property where work is to be carried out).

1.2 Work Plan

The work plan shall specify the nature of the proposed work, location of their execution, start date and anticipated duration thereof , as well as the identification of any potential nuisance (noise, dust, road traffic, intensive brightness , waste, mitigation measures proposed and other).

1.3 Authorizations

In circumstances where you must submit requests from government agencies to launch your operations, copies of such authorizations (including MRNF and MDDEP) should always be included in the file.

1.4 Agreement

In the case of work being performed on private property, the claim holder must include with the application a confirmation that they have the right of access to the property where work will be carried out. If the parties wish to do so, you need to confirm that an agreement on a willing-seller/willing-buyer basis has been reached in regards to access to the property and consent to carry out planned operations.

1.5 Declaration

(i) The claim holder must attach to their file a statement that work will be performed in accordance with standard operating procedures, laws and regulations.

(ii) The statement must include a commitment to use existing roads, where possible, and that repair or rehabilitation work as appropriate, will be executed at the end of exploration activities. (It is suggested to properly document the state of the site before work begins)

1.6 Preparatory meetings

When the work is planned in areas classified as being of higher sensitivity, meetings with planning officials are recommended to ensure that such work be undertaken in accordance with various provisions in place.

Phase II - Other Conditions of Execution

2.1 Additional preparatory meetings

(i) In the event that the municipality suggests specific conditions for carrying out the work, other than those defined in provincial legislation and regulations, you must promptly initiate discussions with the concerned municipality as soon as possible to establish means to proceed. 

(ii) Specific nature of these conditions may vary from one local municipality to another, but they must all address work execution conditions.

2.2 Some examples of constraints and conditions

A local municipality may suggest special provisions, according to a particular sensitivity related to the nature of land use already in place in the area covered by your work.

(i) Work planned in an urban area which is the home of urban health, education and/or recreation facilities and infrastructures or in areas of high residential density.

(ii) Work planned in areas located within an urban area or industrial type suburban area, city park, riparian land, or in recreational and tourist areas.

2.3 Verification of conditions

In all of these cases, the zone boundaries or territories included in an area classified as sensitive, must be recorded in the development plan (MRC) and adhere to planning and development laws.

Although it is advisable to validate whether or not such areas are included in the scheme, you must establish a dialogue with the expert representatives within the municipality on these issues. 

Phase III - Exploration Operations Before and After Work

3.1 Maintaining relations with stakeholders: during work

(i) Throughout the exploration process, you must maintain relationships with municipal officials and keep them informed on the progress of your activities as well as the difficulties and compliance with the schedule and commitments.

Report if you have experienced difficulties in relation to nuisances that could have occurred such as noise, discharge, tributary streams, dust, odors, light and steady traffic.

(iii) Given the confidential nature of the results, it goes without saying that you must explain that they will not be made public until the appropriate time.

3.2 Maintaining relations with stakeholders: after work

(i) Maintain relations with representatives of municipalities, throughout your presence on the municipality’s territory, once the work is finished - especially if you are considering additional work.