Regulation - LGIC

Proposed regulatory changes to closure plan rehabilitation requirements for advanced exploration and mine production and adding an additional class of facilities to the list of such classes that are excluded from the definition of "mine".

Regulation Number(s):
Instrument Type:
Regulation - LGIC
Bill or Act:
Bill 71, Building More Mines Act, 2023
Summary of Proposal:
If enacted, Bill 71, Building More Mines Act, 2023, will lay the groundwork for a more flexible and innovative approach to mine rehabilitation requirements. To give the intention of the Bill full effect and allow it to be brought into force, additional regulatory amendments are required.

The changes discussed in this proposal all relate to closure planning for advanced exploration and mine production, and the associated rehabilitation requirements.

Rehabilitation activities must be conducted in accordance with, and to the extent required by, the requirements and standards prescribed in the regulations to the Mining Act. The applicable requirements and standards, including requirements for the form and content of closure plans, are contained in O. Reg 240/00 and the Mining Rehabilitation Code (the Code) contained within it.

The vision is a modern regulatory framework that is flexible, encourages innovation, and relies on technical expertise of qualified persons and industry professionals.

The proposed regulatory changes all affect O. Reg 240/00 (the Regulation), and include:
• creating a definition of "qualified person";
• incorporating additional certifications to fill existing gaps;
• requiring that a closure plan contain certifications from one or more qualified persons, stating that the closure plan either:
o complies with the requirements of each applicable Part of the Code, or
o otherwise meets or exceeds the objective of that Part of the Code;
• making changes involving the Code, including:
o making the Code a policy incorporated by reference in the Regulation, rather than a schedule to the Regulation;
o clarifying the "objective" sections of the Code, to support the certification described above;
o modifying certain rehabilitation standards to improve clarity and operational function, or, where appropriate, make them more flexible;
o creating a new Part of the Code related to site infrastructure;
• prescribing a process by which the Minister would determine the appropriateness of a proposed post-mining land use, in accordance with the new definition of "rehabilitate" in the Bill;
• where appropriate, allow certain time-consuming studies to be delivered after the commencement of mine development, instead of requiring that such studies be completed and included in a closure plan before development starts; and
• prescribing an additional class of facilities to the list of such classes that are excluded from the definition of "mine", meaning that these facilities would not require closure plans; this would apply to facilities that are not co-located with a mine site and that process battery mineral concentrates that will not result in additional tailings being created; these facilities would be treated like any other industrial facility and regulated to the extent necessary through statutes other than the Mining Act; and
• additional instruments are being created that may need to be prescribed under the Environmental Bill of Rights and the Ministry will need to update the associated instruments list.

There are also proposed administrative changes, for example, broadening the types of corporate officer who can provide the non-technical certification statements required in closure plans.

Information on the legislative amendments proposed in Bill 71 that created the requirement for these regulatory administrative amendments can be found in ERO 019-6715 and ERO 019-6718.
Analysis of Regulatory Impact:
The impact on regulated entities will be informed through these consultations.
Further Information:
Proposal Number:
Posting Date:
March 9, 2023
Comments Due Date:
April 23, 2023