An important new scientific paper out today in Science Advances from 23 science and policy experts draws attention to the massive scale and scope of mining in western North America — and the many ways those estimated 3,600 active and past mines threaten some of the last remaining intact wild salmon and trout rivers in the world.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
Mount Polley mine applies to extend wastewater discharge permit
Imperial Metals has applied for an extension to its permit to continue discharging wastewater from the Mount Polley mine into Quesnel Lake. Take action with the Concerned Citizens of Quesnel Lake to oppose the application.
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.
New report recommends First Nations in BC take immediate control of mining in their territories
First Nations in BC are proactively working towards re-establishing sovereignty over their territories in British Columbia, by introducing and exercising their own law-making authority to regulate and monitor mining on their own lands.
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.
B.C. Fails to Meet Indigenous Consent Standard for Mining — 8 Recent Cases
In a new backgrounder report, MiningWatch Canada and the BC Mining Law Reform network conclude that British Columbia fails to meet the Indigenous consent standard for mining, even two years after the passing of the province’s Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act (DRIPA).