Province Commits $42 Million For Cleanup Of Orphaned Mines

Oct 28, 2009 | Government News

The Honourable Greg Selinger

The Honourable Greg Selinger

Manitoba Continues to be a Leader In Mine Site Rehabilitation: Selinger 

Manitoba’s environment will be greener as a result of $42 million in provincial funding to support the cleanup of 18 orphaned or abandoned mines in the province, Premier Greg Selinger announced today. 

“Manitoba has positioned itself as a leader in the rehabilitation of orphaned and abandoned mines through its programs, partnerships, community involvement and funding initiatives,” said Selinger.  “As a result of all of this work, we are creating a healthier and safer environment.” 

Manitoba began acting on orphaned and abandoned mines in 1999 with the introduction of mine closure regulations. The regulations require environmental liabilities incurred during mining operations to be financially secured to cover future remediation costs. Now, all mine closure plans and financial security must be filed and approved prior to a permit being granted for a new mine operation. 

Manitoba’s mineral sector is the province’s second-largest primary resource industry and is a major player in providing an important source of employment for Aboriginal and northern communities, the premier said. 

“The funding we are announcing demonstrates government’s commitment to public safety, environmental stewardship and to the future of an industry that is a major pillar of our province’s economy,” said Selinger. “Our objective is to deal with the environmental, health and safety risks and return these sites, as close as possible, to their original condition.” 

Orphaned or abandoned mines are mines for which the owner either cannot be found or is financially unable or unwilling to carry out site rehabilitation. Many of these sites were developed decades ago, before environmental impacts were fully understood and modern operating and rehabilitation standards were developed.

 Orphaned and abandoned mines exist in all mining jurisdictions in Canada.  

More information about orphaned and abandoned mines is available at:

A backgrounder for this news release is available here.

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