What is this engagement about?
British Columbia is at the forefront of the mining industry in Canada and a major contributor to the Canadian economy, attracting mining investment from all over the world. As Canada’s largest producer of copper and steelmaking coal, B.C. is an essential component of Canada’s commitment to a lower carbon future.
The Government of B.C. has developed many industry-leading policies and practices on environmental stewardship and First Nations engagement that have served as a model for other mining jurisdictions across Canada and abroad.
B.C. mining reclamation laws are in place to ensure that land, water and cultural heritage resources are protected. Before starting work at a mine site, companies are required to undergo a rigorous assessment process, obtain a Mines Act permit approving the mine plan, including a program for protection of the land and watercourses, and a reclamation program. Mining companies must also place reclamation security with the Province which is only returned once the mine site has been reclaimed and there are no ongoing monitoring or maintenance requirements.
In May 2016, the Auditor General’s report on compliance and enforcement of the mining sector was released which highlighted the need for a clear and transparent to ensure that the mine reclamation security held by government is appropriately managing financial risk to the taxpayer.
As a first step, the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources (EMPR) commissioned Stantec Consulting Ltd. to examine how jurisdictions in Canada and abroad deal with the issue, as a result the Policy and Process Review for Mine Reclamation Security was released in September 2016.
EMPR and the Ministry of Finance then commissioned Ernst & Young (EY), a leading firm with experience and knowledge of the mining industry worldwide, to undertake an in-depth examination of EMPR’s reclamation securities practices. In February 2017 EY completed a Report and Recommendations for B.C.’s Mine Reclamation Security Policy including a comprehensive examination of the current approach and further analysis of best practices. During their review, EY found that EMPR utilizes a financial security program based on sound principles that include elements of a risk-based approach. EY’s main recommendation was to formalize a risk management framework for mine security. This work is currently underway.
As part of the policy development process, EMPR requested input on the recommended policy components detailed in the Ernst & Young report and/or best practices in other jurisdictions. Input was accepted until November 8, 2018 at 4pm.
How can my contribution make a difference?
Input received during the engagement process will inform the drafting of EMPR’s reclamation security policy. A summary of the engagement, and the key issues raised, will be posted to this site in early 2019.
Details of the Consultation:
Date: October 11 to November 8, 2018
Category: Natural Resources