Audit finds close to half of Canadian mines’ environmental plans unmonitored


An independent report into the impacts of Canadian mining on the local environments has found that a significant proportion of mines and their waste storage solutions are not monitored by government regulators, raising the possibility of the mining sector causing significant environmental damage.

The audit, ‘Protecting Fish from Mining Effluent’, was authored by the country’s commissioner of the environment and sustainable development Julie Gelfand, who operates as an independent watchdog for a number of industries including mining. The report focused on the potential damage that the storage of mine waste can do to bodies of water, and the fish populations they house.

Canadian law requires miners to complete a number of steps to gain permission to use a body of water to store tailings, including holding consultations with indigenous groups and local people. Miners must also implement “compensation plans” to help the fish populations recover should their habitats be significantly damaged by the waste…