Overview of BC Law
As the people most severely affected by poorly or inadequately reclaimed mine sites, local communities and First Nations need a voice in determining an appropriate and adequate security amount. They are also often in the best position to factor in local conditions. Under BC mining legislation, there are no specific legal requirements mandating public participation in this process. Conversely, meaningful participation of local communities in setting mine securities is mandated in other jurisdictions, as shown in the following Recommended Solutions.
The lack of public disclosure and participation are barriers to adequate reclamation costing.
Mandate public disclosure of reclamation cost estimate on which security determinations are based
[Tags: Public Consultation; Bonds; Assurance; Surety; Security Deposits; Disclosure; Calculation]
In BC, miners can (and often do) request that the reclamation cost estimate submitted as part of the mine permit application be kept confidential.125 Consequently, the public is unable to evaluate whether the cost estimate is reasonable or adequate to cover all necessary site remediation activities. Several jurisdictions provide a more transparent process. For example, in Montana the regulatory authority must publish notice of the proposed security determination in a newspaper of general circulation in the county in which the operation is located.126 In Oregon, the reclamation plan, minus proprietary information, is a public document.127
Set security based on issues identified in consultation with local community
[Tags: Community Consultation; Security; Bonds; Assurance; Surety; Sensitive Areas; Reclamation]
Local communities, especially First Nations communities who have inhabited their traditional territories for millennia, generally have local knowledge on specific sensitive areas or local needs that require extra reclamation efforts or pose unique reclamation challenges. They may be able to provide important input on costs that need to be covered and should therefore be consulted in the process of setting mine securities. This is recognized in Victoria (Australia), where the regulatory authority is legally required to jhj