The Boreal Below: Mining Issues and Activities in Canada’s Boreal Forest Region
The mining sector is one of the major industrial players and sources of long lasting and wide-ranging environmental and social impacts within and beyond the boreal forest region, both now and into the foreseeable future. Mining and mineral exploration leave virtually no part of the vast boreal forest untouched. With few exceptions, the entire forest landscape is subject to mineral exploration, and every major watershed is host to a mining operation. Abandoned mines are scattered across the region, the majority of them unattended and a great number of them not yet even evaluated for their impacts on the environment. And mines bring with them a full slate of industrial infrastructure – roads, power generators, transmission lines, and camps or communities and related development – paving the way for other resource extraction players, who inevitably follow.