Pros and cons

Some thoughts and comments on “map staking”  versus physical staking from other sources including:

I’ve gone through these and compiled the arguments for and against map staking in the table below.  Feel free to suggest other Pros or Cons or to point out some other reference article we should add.  I’ll update this periodically.

1.  Physical entry to stake upsets land owners and aboriginal groups. 1. Loss of income to bush workers, rural residents, including First Nations.
2. Certainty of tenure: uncertainty about whether the physical staking was done properly is removed 2.  Loss of business to staking contractors, helicopter companies, hotels, lumber yards, etc.
3. More exploration dollars would go into the ground rather than staking. 3.  Large companies with deep pockets can get large land packages more easily and quickly.
4.  No damage to timber or other resources by physical staking. 4. Because it is difficult to get large blocks staked without competition, land gets split among competing companies and this spurs more exploration than would occur is a single company got the ground.
5.  Safer – eliminates possibility of anyone getting hurt / killed while staking. 5. Problems with legacy claims: they may not be accurately plotted on the map.
6.  No delays in obtaining title. 6.  No more staking rushes with their consequent economic benefits.
7. No disputes over title from overstaking or incorrect staking. 7.  Duty and right to enter Crown Land to stake supports the right to enter and mine – cements right of entry.
8.  Cost of staking in remote areas prices the small guy out of the market. 8. Speculators or environmental groups could easily acquire mineral rights – preventing, delaying or hampering exploration by bona fide explorers.
9.  Protects a discovery by allowing a prospect to quickly tie up the adjoining ground. 9. Easier to be sure you are on your own mineral property.
10.  Minimizes conflicts with First Nations – especially over burial sites, camps, etc. 10.  Elevated fees go straight to government with no benefit to northerners.
11.  Levels the playing field between big companies and prospectors; easy access for both. 11.  Mineral discoveries sometimes made during staking.
12.  The lag between staking and recording causes stakers to waste money staking over ground already staked. 12.  No chance to spot environmental problems with map staking; you may see these while physically staking.
13. Physical staking causes environmental damage. 13.  Allows big companies to quickly tie up ground before any competitors can get in.
14.  No need for claims inspectors. 14.  Problems in Quebec with simultaneous applications: who got the ground?
15. No controls on the number of claims that can be acquired on any given day to prevent speculative parties from acquiring entire townships of claims. No one has come up with an effective way to do this. Proxy staking will take place under the names of employees, agents, etc.
16. The policy of requiring large deposits of money for work as a condition of staking is a sure way to completely eliminate the individual prospector.
17.  Map staking allowed a man in BC to cheaply harass his neighbor buy buying the mineral rights to his land.
18.  Speculators tie up ground:  “When some guy can sit in his living room and stake B.C. claims for 40 cents a hectare, online staking is too easy,”
19.  Map staking allows people from anywhere to easily stake, creating problems with First Nations:The problems associated with free entry have been exacerbated by online registration, introduced in B.C. in 2005. In the past, First Nations people might at least encounter a prospector staking a claim on the land. Now, a claim can be filed from anywhere in the world, and Takla receives no notice.

One thought on “Pros and cons

  1. The Modest Proposal (“MP”) quickly addresses most of the cons found in the above table as follows:
    Con 1: MP will allow a broader base of people to become stakers, and the requirement to have a person physically enter the recording office in the district where the staking is taking place will ensure local participation likely at a level greater than currently exists as many of the stakers under the current system are from out of town or out of Province. A significant cottage industry for local people awaits and current staking contractors are still in the game. Furthermore the bonding requirement in MP may end up spurring exploration and therefore boosting the local economy vis a vis heli and hotel etc.
    Con 2: “Stakers” will still be needed albeit in a different capacity therefore local businesses will still be used. Heli companies will be impacted but the bonding part of MP is designed to spur exploration and hopefully this will help meet or exceed the loss. The big benefit of mineral exploration is not wages earned from short term staking careers but the discovery of mines and the types of long term jobs and futures that they provide.
    Con 3: The current rules and regulations are even more deep pocket company friendly vis a vis acquiring large land positions without competition. Although costly, ATAC managed to tie up most of the immediate Rackla belt with only a few exceptions partially due to cost keeping many players out and partially due to the 30-day to record rule.
    Con 4: poorly worded, not sure how to respond
    Con 5: There would have to be a run-up period in which legacy claim owners could get a survey of their claims completed or just agree to have them remain on the map as-is. A simple solution awaits with a bit of thought.
    Con 6: There can, and will, still be “staking rushes” as “stakers” will still be needed; albeit in a different format but with similar economic benefits.
    Con 7: Not sure this isn’t a bogeyman created to scare people from change, and really, given the current climate of litigation and permitting does “free entry” still exist? A legal opinion or two is in order.
    Con 8: Environmental groups have been a non-factor in BC staking, but speculators are a definite impediment and significant concern. Luckily the MP is not a BC style system. The bonding cost for MP staking should be high enough and will either be returned with legit boots on the ground exploration or forfeited and the claims will lapse. These requirements will keep speculators out and keep the power in explorers hands.
    Con 9: You must be joking. A map based system such as MP will certainly give clearer location of title at the time of acquisition and down the line. Among other things, posts fall over and blazes fade, the current system is fraught with problems.
    Con 10: In MP the fees are not elevated, they remain the same. The difference is the bonding, and only if a claim is staked and not worked does the bonding end up in Gov hands; why can’t that forfeited bonding money be used for something positive like METC or something.
    Con 11: The current system of staking is a horrific waste of time, finances and manpower that would be better spent making discoveries.
    Con 12: Good point, but I doubt this happens enough to be material to the discussion.
    Con 13: No matter the system the deep pocketed entity always has an advantage.
    Con 14: Under the current system the fallout from a simultaneous staking, or the staking of an area already acquired but not yet recorded, is way more destructive and costly. The current system is rife with disaster stories.
    Con 15: Simple solution is to not allow proxy stakers, and with the cap on the amount a guy can stake in a day, a large number of people would need to be hired to acquire a large amount of ground; not unlike the current system.
    Con 16: In MP the deposit is roughly equivalent to what a road accessible job currently costs (fuel wages hotel food quad loss of time etc) and the deposit is returned if you do expl work. This is certainly an improvement to the current system where the costs associated with staking are simply pissed away never to return. These are losses a prospector generally can’t afford.
    Con 17: I suppose there are crazy people in every jurisdiction and the BC system was/is certainly too cheap. Lucky then that the MP does not represent a system like BC.
    Con 18: Lucky then that the MP does not represent a system like BC.
    Con 19: Lucky then that the MP does not represent a system like BC.

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