Towards Mine Site Relinquishment to the Crown: An Industry-led, Multi-Stakeholder Approach
CIM Montreal 2015
Robert Holmes (Department of Energy Mines and Resources, Government of Yukon), Mark Thorpe (Torex Gold)
In most major mining jurisdictions, mine closure is an amorphous concept with no clearly defined end. Completion criteria are often ambiguous, ill-defined, and inconsistent across jurisdictions resulting in uncertainty in approaches to mine closure for operators, unclear standards for regulators, and confusion for communities and stakeholders at large. Furthermore, the lack of a defined end for site relinquishment often leads to the management of sites in perpetuity and, should a company dissolve or their mineral rights leases and / or permits expire, the responsibility for managing site rehabilitation and closure activities then reverts to the Crown.
To address these challenges in mine closure and site relinquishment, the Environmental Stewardship Initiative (ESI) of the Canada Mining Innovation Council (CMIC) is implementing a Canada-wide program to develop standardized closure criteria for relinquishment. These criteria aim to provide a clear path to mine closure completion and the subsequent site relinquishment by defining the conditions acceptable to mining stakeholders, which, if met, will enable the Crown to accept sites into provincial custody.
This paper provides an overview of the benefits that will accrue to industry and mining stakeholders. It also details the ESI’s ongoing project development activities.
communities, regulators, CMIC, relinquishment, innovation, closure, stakeholders