If you buy a property, do you automatically get the mineral rights?

No. Property owners in Frontenac County learned this the hard way when uranium prospectors started purchasing and staking mineral rights claims on their land. Under recent changes to Ontario’s Mining Act, surface rights owners—that would be the owners of cottages, homes, and farms—must now at least be notified that mineral rights have been staked on their property.

If you’re purchasing in an area where mining activity is likely, ask your lawyer to check to ensure that there are no mining claims staked on the property you’re purchasing, and see if it’s possible to obtain the mineral rights yourself. And while you’re at it, ask about native land claims—or rumours of claims—on the property you’re considering.