Environmental Assessment for Mining Activities
Introduction & Background
An environmental assessment (EA) is the process of identifying, evaluating and mitigating the biophysical, social, and other relevant effects of a proposed activity prior to deciding whether to authorize, require modifications, or reject it. For mining activities in BC, EAs are generally conducted after the mineral exploration stage and before the mine development stage. EAs have been described as the most widely used environmental management tool in the mineral sector.
TERMINOLOGY: Different jurisdictions have adopted different terminology to describe the EA process and stages thereof. This terminology includes “environmental impact statements”, “environmental impact assessments”, “environmental impact reviews”, “environmental evaluation”, “environmental review” and other similar terms. For ease of comparison, the term environmental assessment, or EA, is used here to describe the process of identifying and evaluating the potential effects of a proposed activity, and the measures taken to mitigate those effects.