It is the duty of the Mining Commissioner to hear and determine all questions, disagreements, matters or claims arising out of the application of the Mining Act and the regulations. Most disagreements never reach the Mining Commissioner and are resolved between parties, or with the assistance of the Department of Energy and Mines Recorder. When disagreements cannot be resolved at that level, the issue is raised to the Mining Commissioner for review and a decision.
The Mining Commissioner has the powers, privileges and immunities of a commissioner under the province’s Inquiries Act. The Mining Commissioner normally conducts a hearing in a manner similar to the procedures of the courts, including such steps as what may or may not be entered into evidence, and issuing summonses for witnesses. When disputes go before the Mining Commissioner, typically both sides in the dispute are represented by lawyers.
A decision or order of the Mining Commissioner may be appealed to a judge of the Court of Queen’s Bench of New Brunswick to review and possibly set aside the order or decision of the Mining Commissioner. However, a legal challenge can only be made on grounds that the decision was outside of the jurisdiction of the Mining Commissioner or that there was an error of law.