New Guidelines for Closure and Reclamation Cost Estimates for Mines

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On November 30, the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) in partnership with the Land and Water Boards of the Mackenzie Valley (Boards) and Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) released the Guidelines for Closure and Reclamation Cost Estimates for Mine.

As part of the development of any new mining project, a security deposit is set by regional land and water boards as a condition of land use permits and water licences. Security deposits are funds held by the party responsible for closure and reclamation of a site, in case the project is abandoned. In the NWT, these funds are generally held by the federal or territorial government.

In recognition of their shared responsibility for securities, the Boards, the GNWT and INAC have collaborated to develop the Guidelines for Closure and Reclamation Cost Estimates for Mines. The Guidelines outline the process for setting security deposits and help to improve the regulatory regime by providing greater certainty for proponents around closure cost estimates.

The Guidelines:

  • Outline expectations of proponents when submitting closure cost estimates

  • Describe existing practices for determining how much security is required and reflect past Board decisions

  • Aim to enhance transparency, efficiency and consistency in setting and adjusting security

Quick Facts

  • The Closure Cost Guidelines are part of a larger framework for closure and reclamation planning in the Mackenzie Valley. They are one of a series of guidelines the GNWT is developing collaboratively with the Boards to improve the regulatory regime in the NWT. This partnership approach recognizes our collective regulatory responsibilities in the NWT.

  • The Guidelines apply to new and existing mining, milling and advanced mineral exploration projects that require a Type A or Type B water licence.

  • In the Mackenzie Valley, closure costs are typically estimated using the RECLAIM model, a tool maintained by the GNWT and INAC. The GNWT has developed user manuals (link below) to complement the Guidelines and help in the development and final preparation of closure cost estimates.

  • Aboriginal governments, industry proponents and others have reviewed the draft Guidelines and provided comments through a Board review process. The guidelines were amended as appropriate, to address comments received.

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