Minister of Energy and Mines Bill Bennett has appointed a Code Review Committee, pursuant to section 34 of the Mines Act, that will determine how best to implement the 26 recommendations made in the reports of the Independent Expert Engineering Panel and the Chief Inspector of Mines following their investigations into the August 4, 2014 tailings facility breach at the Mount Polley Mine.
The Code Review Committee is chaired by the Chief Inspector of Mines and includes an equal number of representatives nominated by First Nations, mine labour unions and industry. The review consists of three separate committees: an overarching Code Review Committee and two sub-committees that are providing technical reviews for the tailings storage facilities (TSFs) and the health and safety sections of the code.
Health and Safety Technical Review
The health and Safety portion of the code review is now complete, and revisions are legally in force as of February 28, 2017.
- News Release for HS Portion of Code Review – February 28, 2017
- Updated Health, Safety and Reclamation Code for Mines in British Columbia – February 28, 2017
Tailings Technical Review
The TSF portion of the code review, including the submission period, is complete, and revisions came into force in July 2016.
Following the July 2016 updates to the TSF section of the Code, the Ministry of Energy and Mines commissioned international engineering, geoscience and environmental consulting firm Klohn Krippen Berger to complete a third-party comparison of mining legislation and guidelines in British Columbia, Montana and Alaska. The comparison found B.C.’s requirements for mining to be equal to or more stringent than those in Montana or Alaska.
Best Available Technology
Further information on the discussion of best available technology (BAT) is available in letters provided by Dirk van Zyl, a member of the Independent Expert Engineering Panel.
Recommendations from the Mount Polley Investigations
Work to implement a number of the 43 recommendations made by the Expert Independent Panel, the Chief Inspector of Mines, and the Auditor General's report on Mining is either substantially underway or complete. Government is committed to ensuring all the recommendations are implemented. The recommendations are listed in the following document along with status of implementation as of July 20, 2016.