Metal Leaching and Acid Rock Drainage
The Province of B.C. protects water quality and quantity by regulating its use, including for mining activities, so that clean water is available to sustain environmental, economic and human needs.
Companies are responsible for managing mine impacted water from their sites, and often require water treatment facilities to capture and treat water before it can be discharged to the environment. Preventing impacts from metal leaching and acid rock drainage (ML/ARD) is a critical environmental issue facing the British Columbia mining industry. In addition to the requirements of the Health, Safety and Reclamation Code for Mines in B.C., permits often include conditions relating to ML/ARD that companies must adhere to.
Surface water and groundwater on and around mine sites are also managed under the Environmental Management Act and the Water Sustainability Act. Authorizations are required to discharge effluent and to use or divert water.