Task force commissioned by mining industry recommends tighter dam oversight – by Gordon Hoekstra (Vancouver Sun – December 8, 2015)


The Mining Association of Canada says it will implement beefed up oversight of earth-and-rock dams that hold back mining waste as recommended in an independent report it commissioned after the Mount Polley mine dam failure last year.

That means its members — which include some of B.C.’s largest mining companies — will have to have independent reviews of all stages of dam development, from site investigation and selection to design, operation and closure.

The 29 recommendations released in the report on Tuesday also call for more transparency and communication with communities on safety risks and monitoring. It also calls for high-risk closed mine facilities to be part of the industry association’s oversight program.

Until now, only operating mines were included in the program.

Mining Association of Canada president and CEO Pierre Gratton said they will be working “expeditiously” to implement the recommendations.

The association’s board is meeting next week to develop a plan. “The recommendations tell us what, not how, so we have work to do,” Gratton said in an interview.

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