Progress on Abandoned Mines

Meeting by candlelight in Halifax because the power had been knocked out by a hurricane, Canada's Ministers of Mines agreed to support the Action Framework developed by the National Orphaned/Abandoned Mines Initiative (NOAMI).

The National Orphaned/Abandoned Mines Advisory Committee is a co-operative partnership of the Canadian mining industry, federal/provincial/territorial governments, environmental non-government organizations and First Nations. MiningWatch is one of the NGO representatives to the committee. Work of the committee is jointly funded by industry and government organizations.

Over the past year, NOAMI has achieved the following:
• Workshop on legislative barriers to reclamation of abandoned mines;
• Report on models for reclamation funding;
• Development of a structure to permit proper classification of mineral sites.
• Development of a pamphlet to guide community engagement and participation in rehabilitation initiatives;
• Development of the NOAMI web site ( to foster information exchange and technology transfer.

Status reports and specific recommendations of each Task Group are available on the NOAMI web site.

Some key elements of the Action Framework proposed for 2004 include:
• Development of a policy framework for reclamation standards that addresses legislative/regulatory issues associated with the specific environmental challenges.
• Development of intergovernmental cost sharing arrangements to address remediation at high priority sites. This would represent a significant first step in implementing a broad range of funding mechanisms to address the issue.
• Complete guidelines for jurisdictional legislative reviews with respect to collaboration, liability and funding to ensure that approaches are consistent, co-ordinated, fair and efficient.
• Establish guidelines for "voluntary" reclamation.
• Complete assessment of inventory standards required for development of pan-Canadian inventorying capability.