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.

New Map Shows Dozens of Mine Pollution Threats in B.C.

Today, SkeenaWild and the BC Mining Law Reform network released new maps pointing to over a hundred known and potentially contaminated mine waste sites that threaten to pollute waters, fish habitat and communities across the province.