Reclamation & Closure
B.C.’s world-class reclamation laws ensure that upon mine closure, land, watercourses and cultural heritage resources are returned to a safe and environmentally sound state.
Before starting work at a mine site, companies are required to obtain a permit approving the mine plan, a program for protection of the land and watercourses, and a reclamation program.
Mining companies must also place a security with the Province to ensure reclamation obligations are kept. This security is only returned once the mine site has been reclaimed to a satisfactory level and there are no ongoing monitoring or maintenance requirements. The intent of the Province’s reclamation legislation is to ensure that modern mine sites in B.C. do not leave an ongoing legacy or require public funds for clean-up activities.
The Ministry of Energy and Mines is currently reviewing its reclamation security program. The Ministry commissioned Ernst and Young, a leading auditing firm with experience and knowledge of the mining industry worldwide, to undertake an in-depth examination of reclamation securities practice. This work is now complete and includes a comprehensive examination of the ministry’s current approach and further analysis of best practices.