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Ministry of Energy and Mines and Responsible for Core Review

Mineral Titles Frequently Asked Questions

FMC: Free Miner Certificate

  1. Where can I get an Individual or Corporate Free Miner Certificate?
     
  2. Where can I get a copy of my Free Miner Certificate (FMC)?
     
  3. I had a Free Miner Certificate 20 years ago. Do I need to get a new one?
     
  4. Can I purchase a Free Miner Certificate for more than one year?
     
  5. The name of my company has changed. How do I get the name changed on the Free Miner Certificate and mineral titles?
     
  6. My company has amalgamated with another company. What procedures and or documents do I need to submit in order to change all my mineral titles to the current company?
     
  7. How do I renew my Free Miner Certificate?
     
  8. I used to have an FMC in the past but cannot find it in MTO.
     
  9. Can a foreign National (non resident in Canada) hold a FMC and own claims in BC?
     
  10. I am now a senior, how do I renew my FMC so I do not get charged $25.00?
     
  11. How do I find out if my FMC has been renewed or not?
     

  1. Where can I get an Individual or Corporate Free Miner Certificate?
    If this is the first-time you have applied for a Free Miner Certificate (FMC), you can go to any Mineral Titles Branch office, Provincial Service BC (Government Agent) office or FrontCounter BC office and fill out an application form for an individual or company FMC. Staff at these offices will enter the required information into the Mineral Titles Online (MTO) registry and you will be issued an FMC and client number.  

    Alternatively, you can print a copy of the individual or corporate FMC forms and mail in your completed application.  Send your form along with a cheque in the amount of $25.00 for an individual or $500.00 for a company, made payable to the Minister of Finance, to: 
     
    Mineral Titles Branch
    300-865 Hornby Street
    Vancouver, B.C.
    V6Z 2G3
     
    In addition to applying for an FMC, you will also need a business BCeID account. It is highly recommended that you apply for a business BCeID first as you will not be able to access MTO without it. Please review our FAQ's on applying for a business BCeID

    If you are attempting to renew your existing FMC, please see question 7 below. For more information, see Information Update #1 - Free Miner Certificate
     
  2. Where can I get a copy of my Free Miner Certificate (FMC)?
    You can only print a copy of your FMC that is currently in effect. If you renewed your FMC and did not print a copy of the renewal, you must wait until your renewed FMC takes effect before you can print a copy of it.

    You are able to print off your current FMC from MTO.
    • Log on to MTO with your BCeID
    • Select the "Reports" tab
    • Next, click on the link to “FMC Client's current/latest certificate”
    • Your current FMC, displaying the client name, client number and address, as well as FMC issue date, valid from date and expiry date can then be printed.
    • You will only be able to print your current FMC. If you renew your FMC before it has expired, and forget to print a copy, you will be able to print it through the reports tab when it becomes valid.
    •  
  3. I had a Free Miner Certificate 20 years ago. Do I need to get a new one?
    Visit any Mineral Titles Branch, Service BC (Government Agent) or FrontCounter BC office or call the Mineral Titles Branch helpdesk, 1-866-616-4999, to have a staff member verify if you did in fact have an FMC. If you did previously have an FMC you simply need to renew your account (and apply for a Business BCeID if you do not have one). If your name is not listed as having an FMC in the past you will need to fill out the appropriate FMC form. (See "Where can I get an Individual or Corporate Free Miner Certificate?" for more information).
  4.  
  5. Can I purchase a Free Miner Certificate for more than one year?
    No. A free miner certificate is issued for a maximum 12 month term which begins with the issuance date and ending on the day immediate before this date next year. For more information, see Information Update #1 - Free Miner Certificate.
  6.  
  7. The name of my company has changed. How do I get the name changed on the Free Miner Certificate and mineral titles?
    You must submit a copy of the “Change of Name certificate” registered with the Corporate Registry to the Vancouver Mineral Titles Branch.
  8.  
  9. My company has amalgamated with another company. What procedures and or documents do I need to submit in order to change all my mineral titles to the current company?
    In a nutshell, a new FMC and Business BCeID must be acquired by the new amalgamated company and all good-standing mineral titles from the pre-amalgamated companies must be transferred by the Mineral Titles Branch to the new company.

    When two or more companies amalgamate, the amalgamated corporation is a new entity and must acquire a new free miner certificate. The free miner certificate held by any of the former corporations is deemed invalid upon amalgamation and therefore cannot be renewed or utilized. This is effective even if the amalgamated corporation keeps the same name as one of the former corporations.

    Clients must bring in a copy of the amalgamation certificate to the Mineral Titles Branch Office in Vancouver or Victoria and then fill out a new corporate free miner certificate application. This fee for a new corporate FMC is $500, payable by cash or cheque. The client must attach a list of the good-standing claims that are held by the former corporations. When the new free miner certificate has been issued, a staff member from Mineral Titles Branch in Vancouver or Victoria will transfer the existing valid tenures previously held by the amalgamated tenures to the free miner certificate of the new company.

    The new company will require a Business BCeID in the new company's name to be used in conjunction with the new free miner certificate.
  10.  
  11. How do I renew my Free Miner Certificate?
    FMC renewals are done online at www.mtonline.gov.bc.ca. Logon to MTO with your Business BCeID and Password, then click on the 'FMC Client' tab. From there you will click on the 'FMC renewal' hyperlink and follow the steps through to completion.
  12.  
  13. I used to have an FMC in the past but cannot find it in MTO.
    You can use MTO’s search capabilities to find your client number.
    • Click on the ‘Search for Mineral / Placer / Coal Titles’
    • Enter your name into the ‘Owner Name’ field
    • Ensure the blue radio button beside ‘Owner Name’ is selected
    • Click ‘Next’

    It may be recommended to search just on your last name in case you go by varying versions on your first name (ex. Bob / Robert). To do this, use the asterisk ‘*’ as a wildcard. For example ‘Smith*’ would return all the clients with a last name starting with Smith (Smith, Smithers, Smithson etc.). Once you locate your name, click on the ‘Client Details’ link to determine your Client Number ID.

    You will need a Business BCeID to logon to MTO. Please review our FAQ’s for BCeID:
    http://www.empr.gov.bc.ca/Titles/MineralTitles/faq/Pages/bceid.aspx

    To renew your FMC, please review the following FAQ:
    How do I renew my Free Miner Certificate?
  14.  
  15. Can a foreign National (non resident in Canada) hold a FMC and own claims in BC?
    The Mineral Tenure Act and Regulations govern the acquisition and maintenance of mineral tenure in the Province of British Columbia. In order to acquire mineral tenure in British Columbia you must be a free miner. Section 8 of the Act set out the conditions for who can acquire a free miner certificate (FMC).

    To acquire or renew a FMC, a person must meet the following qualifications:

    If you are an individual and are ordinarily a resident of Canada for not less than 183 days in each calendar year, or you are authorized by the federal government of Canada to work in Canada (proof of authorization must be provided). If this is a company they must be registered provincially or extra-provincially under the Business Corporation Act of British Columbia, or be a trust company registered under the Financial Institutions Act of BC, an insurer licensed under the Insurance Act of BC, or a chartered bank.

    Please refer to Section 8 of the Mineral Tenure Act and Information Update No. 1 – Free Miner Certificate for more information.

    A Canadian citizen, regardless of where he/she resides, is authorized to work in Canada by virtue of their citizenship.
  16.  
    • I am now a senior, how do I renew my FMC so I do not get charged $25.00?
      If you have turned 65 years of age since the last renewal of your FMC, STOP and do not continue with the online renewal. You are required to submit a completed FMC application form to your local Service BC office, FrontCounterBC office or Mineral Titles office, as well as a copy of your birth certificate. The completed form will allow staff to manually change your status in MTO from individual to senior, as well as renew your FMC for you. After the change in your FMC status, you will be able to apply online for future renewals yourself. 
    •  
    • How do I find out if my FMC has been renewed or not?
        You can search the MTO registry to find out if you, or your agent, have already renewed your FMC. For step by step instructions, please review our help guide . MTO will advise you if you currently have a valid FMC or not; and display effect date of your current and future FMC’s if it has already been renewed. You cannot print future FMC’s that are not yet in effect.