Environmental safety and awareness is a primary consideration in the modern era. Legislation being drafted and passed all over the world continues to reflect this, and the laws that govern the mining industry are no exception. In British Columbia, a group of First Nations have created a detailed mining policy that aims to curb the environmental effects of existing, proposed, and future mining projects in the area.
Not a hindrance, but a very big help
According to Northern Shuswap Tribal Council mining coordinator Jacinda Mack, the new policy is not meant to prevent mining efforts in the area, but is simply a way to ensure the local mining industry’s sustainability and compliance with laws that protect natural resources. The 54-page policy was created with the help of environmental and mining experts.
The details of the First Nations policy
The new First Nations policy states that mining companies can no longer stake a mining claim without first consulting with the First Nations. Also, companies will be required to pay a polluter pays principle for any operational damages and cleanup costs that their mining operations incur. Finally, environmental stewardship will be considered before the First Nations stamp their approval for a particular mining project.
The environmental impacts of mining
Unregulated mining operations have the potential to pollute soil, air, and water. Some of the most notable impacts of mining to the environment include erosion, soil/groundwater/surface water contamination, sinkhole formation, and loss of biodiversity. If no action is taken to remedy the various environmental problems caused by modern mining, the cost to communities, governments, and even the world can be devastating.
Two of the most important factors in mitigating a mining operation’s environmental impact are Best Practices and the use of ISO-certified mining equipment from mine rail cars to skips and cages. These factors ensured that products are mined, transported, and stored in the most environmentally-friendly manner.
Training and continuing education is essential to the success of the implementation of Best Practices and use of industry-grade mining tools. For quality mining equipment, refer to trusted suppliers like Wabi Iron & Steel Corp., well known in the industry for providing mining sites with the most reliable equipment such as mine ore cars, skips, cages, and more.
(Source: First Nation in B.C. sets out tougher rules for mining in its territory, CBC, Dec. 2, 2014)