Release of Mine Permit Obligations
Overview of BC Law
In BC, a miner is released of all legal obligations under the Mines Act when:270
- all legal conditions under the mining legislation and mine permit have been fulfilled to the satisfaction of the Chief Inspector; and,
- there are no on-going inspection, monitoring, mitigation or maintenance requirements.
BC law does not require any other government department or affected party to sign-off on the closure certificate.
As described in the Recommended Solutions below, other jurisdictions impose more onerous legal requirements on miners before they are released from their legal obligations.
Note: Chapter 10: Mine Securities provides a more detailed analysis of the bonding and assurance issues in mining in BC.
BC Law has few requirements for the release of mine permit obligations. Additional requirements could promote further economic activity, and protect the public purse from unforeseen occurrences.
Require the maintenance of mine facilities in saleable operating condition for two years after closure to promote new ownership
[Tags: Security; Post-Closure Maintenance]
In Minnesota, the law requires owners or operators of iron mines or related facilities to maintain them in saleable operating condition for at least two years after operations are discontinued to allow the state and other interested public and private bodies to seek a new owner and operator.271 This promotes efforts to continue the mine operation and new job-generating activities after mine closure.
Require thorough assessments of reclamation activities before releasing miner’s obligations
[Tags: Assessment; Concessions; Exploitation]
Some mining impacts may not be immediately apparent, and require time for a clear understanding of long-term impacts. The need for adequate time to assess these long-term impacts is recognized in several Australian states:
- In the state of Victoria, the regulatory authority must take into account “the possibility that some of the damage caused to the land by the authorised activities may not become evident for some time” when deciding whether or not to release a mine operator from further liability.272
- In Western Australia and Queensland, the law explicitly states that the assessment period may take from five to ten years.273
Require reviews by other affected agencies before the release of legal obligations
[Tags: Review; Agencies; Intergovernmental]
In South Africa no closure certificate may be issued unless the regulatory authority and the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry have confirmed in writing that the provisions pertaining to health and safety and management of potential pollution to water resources have been addressed.274