This news release from the British Columbia Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum:

The Province and the Tahltan Nation have developed a restoration plan to assess and address the impacts of past mineral exploration and development activity within Tahltan Territory, Minister of State for Mining Kevin Krueger announced today.

“The restoration plan is the first of its kind and is a landmark accomplishment for responsible and sustainable mining in British Columbia,” said Krueger. “By developing this plan in collaboration with the Tahltan Central Council, we are building on the principles and approach of the New Relationship and building on our commitments established in the BC Mining Plan.”

The restoration plan is the first major accomplishment of the Tahltan-BC Minerals Working Group, which was established to review operational issues related to mining activities and proposed mining activities in the Tahltan Territory in northwest B.C., including the communities of Dease Lake, Telegraph Creek and Iskut. The Minerals Working Group is comprised of representatives of the Tahltan Central Council and the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources in support of the main British Columbia/Tahltan Central Council Reconciliation Table.

I managed to get a copy of the plan. Here are a few highlights.

Objectives:

  • Develop and foster a positive and productive working relationship between the Tahltan Nation and the Province of British Columbia
  • Develop a list of past and existing mining activity permitted by the Mines Act in Tahltan Territory
  • To conduct a natural resources impact assessment attributable to mining activities in Tahltan Territory
  • Develop a remediation plan to address each of the identified natural resource impacts in Tahltan Territory
  • Develop a strategy to implement the remediation plans
  • Monitor the success of each remediation projects
  • Report on activities including progress made in remediation projects.

Key Steps:

  • Identify Sites where mining activities occurred: (a) Consult MEMPR Map and list of mining activities (past & present); (b) Consult with members of the Tahltan Nation to identify sites impacted by mining activities.
  • Conduct filed tours and site inspections
  • Develop remediation plans
  • Develop joint implementation strategy
  • Conduct remediation of environmental hazards
  • Report on restoration plan progress.

The plan provides some detail on each of these activities. You should consult the plan for these details. Here are some highlights:

  • For locations identified as having only minor impacts, a site visit may be all that is required to determine what and when an action is expected to be taken.
  • Compile all subsequent activities into a single Tahltan Territory Restoration Plan. This roll-up would look for possible synergies between activities---this is highly likely given that many activities were concentrated in local areas.
  • While the costs and sources of funds to restoration are not known at this time, the Parties will explore a variety of sources including funds that can be applied to this plan and will also conduct legal research to determine any potential outstanding liabilities including third party liability for each site.