ENGO Participation in the Environmental Code of Practice for Metal Mining Consultation


Date: 2008 - ongoing

Environment Canada officials are working on the development of an Environmental Code of Practice for Metal Mining. The objective of the Code is to identify and promote recommended best practices to facilitate and encourage continual improvement in environmental performance of mining facilities throughout all phases of the mine life cycle. The document is intended to be a resource for mine owners and operators and regulatory agencies, as well as the general public for the evaluation of the environmental protection practices and needs of mining activities.

The Code addresses all phases of the mining life cycle from exploration through closure and covers a broad spectrum of environmental aspects ranging from water and waste management to air, climate change and biodiversity. This Code will be the first document of its kind to address such as inclusive scope, as far as Environment Canada is aware. While the Code applies specifically to metal mines, the recommendations in the document will provide useful guidance for all other sectors of the mining industry.

The Code presents a series of recommendations that address 6 key areas:

  • Environmental protection practices that are applicable across the mine life cycle;
  • Environmental management practices for each phase of the mine life cycle;
    • Exploration and feasibility;
    • Planning and construction;
    • Mine operations;
    • Mine closure, and;
    • Environmental management practices for mining in the North.

The RCEN has selected four ENGO delegates for a consultation process to obtain input on the draft Code of Practice with the aim of finalizing the Code for publication by mid-2008.

Selected ENGO Representatives:

  • Amy Crook, Centre for Science in Public Participation (BC)
  • Catherine Coumans, MiningWatch Canada (ON)
  • Robert Rattle, Clean North (ON)
  • Boris Romaguer, Ambioterra (QC)

Read: Preliminary Comments on the Environmental Code of Practice for Metal Mines

Delegates will review and provide written comments in detail on the draft Code by mid-fall 2007, prepare for and participate in a workshop in the Ottawa area to discuss the draft Code and to determine next steps in its finalization, and prepare a report on the meeting for the RCEN.

Environment Canada regards the development of this Code as a significant achievement, and broad input from representatives of governments, Aboriginal groups, industry and civil society is important to ensuring that the final version of the Code satisfies the broad needs of all groups.

For more information, contact Daniel Casselman, National Caucus Coordinator, tel.: (613) 728-9810 ext. 236.

RCEN E-Bulletin


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