Energy, Mines and Resources

Assessment and Abandoned Mines

Remediation Planning

Remediation planning is unique to each abandoned mine site. For further details, visit each site’s remediation tab on this website.

What is the difference between closure and remediation?

Mine closure is a term used by the mining industry to describe a period of time when the extracting activities at a mine site have ceased but the final decommissioning of site infrastructure, and reclamation of disturbed areas has not been completed.

Mine reclamation is a term used by the mining industry to describe the process of restoring land that has been mined to a natural or economically usable purpose and mining activities have ceased on the site. For example, reclamation can create useful landscapes ranging from the restoration of productive ecosystems to the creation of industrial and municipal resources.

In Yukon, remediation of an abandoned mine site (or environmental remediation) is a term used to explain the process of treating or removing contaminants from a site.  This can include the treatment or removal of soil, groundwater, sediment, or surface water for the general protection of human health and the environment.

What is a remediation plan?

A remediation plan addresses the long-term removal, containment, treatment or storage of contaminants onsite; the demolition and removal of infrastructure; and, the remediation of waste rock piles, tailings ponds and open pits.

Options for remediation are developed through investigations and research as well as extensive consultation with the public, affected communities, and Yukon First Nations. Multiple reviews from an Independent Peer Review Panel also forms part of developing remediation options. The list is narrowed down to the most viable options, and finally through extensive consultations, a preferred option is chosen and implemented.

Who is involved in the remediation planning process?

The Government of Yukon works with the Government of Canada and affected First Nations to ensure that First Nations have the capacity to fully participate in the remediation planning and implementation processes.

In the past, this has included numerous workshops and meetings lead by the Government of Yukon with First Nations. Various technical aspects of remediation planning are discussed to help build awareness of remediation issues and alternative approaches for addressing them.

The Government of Yukon and the Government of Canada have also supported First Nation individuals in attending remediation-related conferences or participating in field trips to see successful remediation of mine sites in British Columbia and other locations.

What is involved in remediation planning?

You can learn more about remediation planning in our Fact Sheet on the Remediation Planning Process  258 KB