Apply for a prospecting lease

A prospecting lease lets you test a larger area than a placer claim for placer deposits. It also gives you the exclusive right to stake the lease into a contiguous set of placer claims, if specific conditions are met.

Placer prospecting leases do not:

  • give you surface rights;
  • give you the exclusive right to the land;
  • allow you to mine; or
  • allow you to prepare the ground for mining, such as stripping a large area of overburden.


Anyone 18 years or older can stake a lease for themselves, a corporation or another person. There is no requirement for Canadian citizenship or Yukon residency.

Corporations wanting to hold a lease, or do other business related to leases, must be registered with the Government of Yukon Corporate Affairs.

You can:

  • only have 1 lease staked in your name at a time.
  • stake a lease for another person or company, if you have a power of attorney to do so.

Choosing a lease location

Before staking a placer prospecting lease, make sure the ground is available for staking. You cannot stake a lease within another valid prospecting lease or placer claim.

Staking is not permitted:

  • on active placer claims or prospecting leases;
  • within a municipal boundary;
  • on First Nation Category A Settlement Land;
  • land occupied by a building or within the yard of a house;
  • cemeteries or burial grounds; and
  • any land removed from staking by Order in Council (often referred to as OICs or prohibition orders). For example:
    • lands withdrawn from staking for the settlement of land claims;
    • special land management areas;
    • parks;
    • airports; or
    • historic sites.

Your lease can only be in the basin of 1 creek or waterbody.

If your lease has ended, you must wait 1 year to stake a lease on the same ground.

Stake a placer prospecting lease

Prospecting leases are staked in the same manner as placer claims. However, prospecting leases can cover a greater area. You can stake a prospecting lease up to a maximum of 5 miles (8.5 kilometres) in length.

In Yukon, you stake a lease by putting 2 posts in the ground. This means you must travel to the area. You cannot stake a lease online or on a map as you can in some other jurisdictions.

You must meet many requirements to stake your prospecting lease correctly. Before you go out to stake, carefully read our:

Visit a Mining Recorder's Office if you have further questions.

Record your lease

After you stake a prospecting lease you're required to apply for the lease. This is known as recording your lease.


You must file your application within a specific period, called travel time. The travel time for prospecting leases is a minimum of 10 days. You get an additional day for every 10 miles (16 kilometres) your claim is from the district Mining Recorder’s Office. We measure the distance in a straight line, “as the crow flies.”

Before going out into the field, visit the district Mining Recorder’s Office to confirm the amount of travel time assigned to the area where you plan to stake. This ensures you can avoid missing the deadline to record your lease. You can also view our travel time map.

We will not record your lease after the allowable travel time has passed.

Apply to record your lease

Applications are usually done in-person at the district Mining Recorder’s Office.

  1. Complete the application form.
  2. The form will ask you to verify that you have the financial ability to thoroughly prospect the area.
  3. The person who staked the lease must sign the form in front of a notary. Our staff at Mining Recorder’s Offices are notaries.
  4. Include a signed and dated sketch of your lease. Sketches must have the following information:
    • both post locations;
    • a scale;
    • a north arrow;
    • the topographic map sheet number;
    • the location of any geographical features, such as lakes, rivers, or streams;
    • lease boundaries; and
    • any adjacent claims or leases.
  5. Complete a Lease work program and additional information form. Write a detailed description of the prospecting work you're planning. Include a sketch or map showing proposed test sites.
  6. Pay the application fee of $50 per mile or portion of a mile.

When you have to pay a financial security

If you stake a lease over an existing surface disposition, you may need to provide financial security.

If you stake a lease on First Nation Category B Settlement Land, you must provide financial security.

The district mining recorder can provide you with information on financial security on a case-by-case basis.

Do you have questions about the process?

Be sure to read the placer prospecting lease guidelines, and visit a Mining Recorder's Office if you have further questions.

Mineral activities in the Peel River watershed

The 2019 Peel Watershed Regional Land Use Plan guides the management of the region. This includes:

  • environmental protection;
  • social considerations; and
  • economic development.

The cornerstone of the plan is sustainable development.

We will evaluate proposed mineral activities in the Peel Watershed region for conformity to the plan. The plan will also inform assessment and regulatory steps.

Read our brochure to see a summary of the standards for all classes of mineral activities throughout the Peel Watershed region.