Energy, Mines and Resources


Yukon Mine Reclamation and Closure Policy

The Yukon government is committed to ensuring that mining developments are managed in a sound and sustainable manner and with greater benefits for all Yukon residents.

The Yukon Mine Site Reclamation and Closure Policy 1.2 MB guides hard rock mine developments in the Territory. The policy and supporting guidelines are based on modern industry standards and they are consistent with national mine site reclamation policies. In addition to regulatory requirements, the Yukon government also follows a number of best management practices and technical guidelines to inform decision making.

The basis of the policy is that mine operators are responsible to plan, implement and fund mine reclamation and closure and they must provide financial security to contain the public risk for site reclamation and closure costs. The reclamation and closure plan must be prepared by the mine owner and submitted for review and approval by the government prior to receiving a Quartz Mining License. The reclamation and closure plan must be updated periodically throughout the operating mine life (minimum every five years).

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Elements of a Reclamation and Closure Plan
A reclamation and closure plan should fully address, but not be limited to, the following:

  • reclamation objectives, including closure design criteria;
  • the progressive reclamation of the site during the life of the operation;
  • the removal or stabilization of any structures and workings;
  • the design of tailings and waste rock disposal areas;
  • the reclamation and re-vegetation of the surface disturbances wherever practicable;
  • methods for protection of water resources;
  • a temporary closure plan;
  • a cost estimate of the work required to close and reclaim the mine; and
  • a plan for ongoing and post-closure monitoring and reporting at the site. A plan should include the establishment of thresholds and identified adaptive management responses should such thresholds be reached.

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Annual Reporting and Post Closure Monitoring
The mine owner must file an annual report stating what progressive reclamation has been accomplished and the results of environmental monitoring programs. As progressive reclamation and closure work is completed, monitoring will be conducted by the mine operator with respect to the effectiveness of the mitigation measures.

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Financial Security
The mine owner must provide financial security for the full outstanding mine reclamation and closure liability. Outstanding reclamation and closure liability is based on the cost to reclaim and close the mine site in its current status, in accordance with the approved reclamation and closure plan. The outstanding reclamation and closure liability will be reassessed periodically (minimum every two years) to reflect the impact of operations and progressive reclamation.

Yukon passed a Security Regulation 167 KB, pursuant to the QMA, that outlines government's ability to collect, hold and review security under a Quartz Mining License.

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Closure Certificate
When the Mineral Resources branch is satisfied that the owner is no longer operating and has met all conditions of the Quartz Mining License, the Minister of EMR may issue a closure certificate.

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Financial Guidelines
Financial Guidelines  635 KB for the Yukon Mine Site Reclamation and Closure Policy have been developed to provide greater clarity to industry on what is required for them to develop a mine in Yukon.

Looking for the technical guidelines: Reclamation and Closure Planning for Quartz Mining Projects  355 KB

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