National Workshop on Orphaned/Abandoned Mines Held in Winnipeg

MiningWatch Canada national co-ordinator Joan Kuyek and a number of our board members and colleagues were in Winnipeg on June 25-28 to attend a National Multi-stakeholder workshop on Orphaned/Abandoned Mines.

The workshop was organized in response to an "action item" from the Mines Ministers' meeting last September. The Inter-Governmental Working Group - a joint industry-government body which works with the mines ministers - was instructed to hold a multi-stakeholder workshop to discuss abandoned mines before the next ministers' meeting in 2001 and to report back at that time. A steering committee was established to organize the workshop and Joan was added as an NGO representative.

In the end, the workshop brought together over sixty people. Most were government from the provinces and territories. There were eleven industry reps (including the steering committee), five aboriginal reps (named by the AFN), and a total of eleven NGO/enviro/community people.

The meeting was organized around five themes: Building a National Inventory, Community Perspectives, Standards and Expectations for Reclamation, Ownership and Liability Issues, and Financial Options for Cleanup.

A background paper prepared by CCSG Associates on Financial Options for the Remediation of Mine Sites is available from MiningWatch Canada.

The recommendations and proceedings of the workshop will be available to the public after the September Mines Ministers' meeting.