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Mining is an extremely high stakes game for public policy, finance markets and most importantly communities and ecosystems. While the industry emphasises its ability to generate wealth and its engineering prowess, its accountability for the massive accumulation of risks, costs and liabilities has not been addressed. The industry's domination of the public policy arena has prevented a serious challenge to the unsustainable status quo. The very real legacy of mining includes an estimated twenty-seven thousand abandoned mines across Canada, billions of dollars of remediation liability for acid...
MiningWatch Canada has an impact on the accountability of policy makers and industry alike with four main activities. We: Provide an Ottawa-based monitoring function of mining companies, government agencies, and industry associations; Carry out and disseminate ...
Canada is a major source of mineral investment worldwide. In 1996, Canadian mining companies raised over $7 billion for domestic and foreign mining projects on the Canadian securities markets. This figure represents almost 50% of the world's exploration dollars. Mining companies are often divided into two groups: seniors and juniors. The "senior" Canadian companies ...
The most extreme environmental impacts of mining occur in and around mines, yet the impacts may begin well ahead of any real production. The cumulative impacts of exploration can be extensive. The mining industry suggests that the ratio of exploration programs to successful mines is 1,000:1. Clearly, this means considerable human activity, machinery and fuel being transported into a broad area of backcountry by road or by air. Exploration impacts include roadways, camps, and abandoned equipment and supplies like the fuel drums shown here. In 1995, the total amount of land staked for new...
Some of the most significant direct and indirect impacts of mining result from the construction of exploration and mining roads. Roads and unlimited access have a negative impact on wilderness areas in four ways: Habitat Fragmentation Roads disrupt calving/rearing grouds, key forage areas, movement and migratory ...
Industry, labour, government, and environmentalists agree on one issue: that Acid Mine Drainage (AMD) is the number one environmental problem facing the mining industry. Acid Mine Drainage: devastates fish and aquatic habitat, is virtually impossible to reverse with existing technology, and once started, costs millions of dollars annually to treat and can continue for centuries.
More than any other human activity, mining has been the impetus for industrial development of wilderness areas in British Columbia. Some of the most immediate and extreme impacts of mineral development are felt by wildlife. At the exploration stage, impacts range from habitat disruption through road construction and attendant hunting and poaching to pollution impacts ...
As "ordinary" citizens, we can feel pretty cut off from the boardrooms, private meetings, and government departments where decisions are made. We can also feel shut out by the fancy, technical language of so called experts. Irresponsible mining developments can have devastating effects on ecologies and local communities. But what can we do about it? The answer is, a lot. In small and large ways, citizens and community groups can and do make a huge difference in decisions about whether, where, and how proposed mines go in. Picture yourself on the peak of Windy Craggy (that's it in the photo),...
One of the most important directions for reducing environmental impacts of mining is to increase "mineral efficiency". In the long term, it is our responsibility as a society to reduce our consumption of (virgin) metals, to make fullest use of the very recyclable properties of metals, and to reduce the massive inputs of energy and water necessary to process minerals. Mineral ...
Water is essential to life on our planet. A prerequisite of sustainable development must be to ensure uncontaminated streams, rivers, lakes and oceans. As Canadians, we often take the presence of clean water for granted, forgetting its importance and assuming that it is always available. Unfortunately, the law and technology to protect this vital resource remains far from perfect. Increasingly, human activities threaten the water sources on which we all depend. Mining is one such activity. In fact, water has been called "mining's most common casualty." There is growing awareness of the...