Inventory of abandoned mines now available – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – May 12, 2017)

Mining watchdog suggests $3.1 billion worth of cleanup is required for Ontario alone.

A new online inventory that catalogues abandoned and orphaned mines across Canada is now available to the public.

The inventory, released in April, is a project of the National Orphaned and Abandoned Mines Initiative (NOAMI). NOAMI was launched in 2002 in response to a request from mine ministers in federal, provincial and territorial jurisdictions to address issues related to orphaned and abandoned mines across the country.

According to NOAMI, “orphaned or abandoned mines are those mines for which the owner cannot be found or for which the owner is financially unable or unwilling to carry out cleanup. They pose environmental, health, safety and economic problems to communities, the mining industry and governments in many countries, including Canada.”

The inventory is comprised of a map that pinpoints mine locations classed in four categories:

-Class A: a site with potential to cause environmental, public health and public safety concerns.
-Class B: a site with limited potential to cause environmental concerns but with potential for public health and safety concerns.
-Class C: a site with public safety concerns but little or no public health or environmental concerns.
-Class O: a site with no expected environmental, public health or public safety concerns.

Mine sites are additionally classified as active or inactive, neglected or terminated, and orphaned/abandoned, or as legacy sites.

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