Screenshot of the tailings map

A new interactive map of tailings dams in B.C.

Together with SkeenaWild Conservation Trust, we have produced an interactive online map of tailings facilities in B.C. The map provides communities with critical information about the risks posed by billions of cubic metres of toxic wet mine waste, called tailings, stored behind some of the highest dams in the world.

Discarded mining equipment lays on red soil in the foreground, with green hills and cloudy mountains in the background

B.C.’s Auditor General’s progress audit still reveals gaps in mine waste safety and cleanup

The Office of the Auditor General (OAG) released a progress audit on major mines, six years after the OAG released a scathing report on compliance and enforcement in the mining sector. While it is great to see some progress, the recent audit did not assess all recommendations from the 2016 report, and there are still gaps to adequately protect the environment and communities. 

Two workers wearing fluorescent yellow vests look out over the catastrophic damage after the collapse of the Vale tailings dam in Brumadinho, Brazil.

Updated guidelines on responsible mine waste management

Earthworks, MiningWatch Canada, and the London Mining Network have released an updated version of their Safety First guidelines for improving the management of mine waste disposal facilities, also known as tailings dams. The guidelines were updated as tailings dams around the world are failing with increasing frequency and severity, a risk expected to increase with climate-related extreme weather events.

An aerial photo of the Bell Mine in the Lake Babine Nation Territory

Progress on ensuring polluters pay

The Ministry of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation has released an interim policy on mine reclamation bonding, detailing the financial security mines are required to pay up front to cover the costs of reclamation – a significant step in the right direction in the right direction toward encouraging mining companies to minimize the environmental damage they cause.

Photo of a Gitanyow Chief in regalia looking out over the territory

Government’s Declaration Act Action Plan includes modernizing the Mineral Tenure Act

The BC Mining Law Reform network welcomes the Declaration Act Action Plan, released by the B.C. government this week. Notably, the plan lays out numerous actions on the self-determination and rights of Indigenous Peoples … and the specific action to “modernize the Mineral Tenure Act in consultation and cooperation with First Nations and First Nations organizations.”

An aerial photo of the Mount Polley mine waste spill in 2014

Expert Analysis: B.C. Lagging on Mine Waste Safety

New expert analysis reveals that British Columbia is lagging behind other jurisdictions in Canada and globally when it comes to mine waste safety. The report looks at the B.C. government’s first ever Audit of Code Requirements for Tailings Storage Facilities, released last year, and makes recommendations on how to improve existing laws and regulations on mine waste safety to protect communities and the environment.

Pembina & Northern Confluence Report Cover

New report shows B.C. can lead on EV battery recycling

A new report from the Pembina Institute and BCMLR partner, Northern Confluence Initiative, demonstrates that B.C.’s role as an early adopter of electric vehicles (EVs) creates a significant economic and environmental opportunity: to secure a regional leadership role in recycling metals and minerals from EV batteries at end-of-life.

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