British Columbia Mine Reclamation Symposium

The role of environmental risk assessment in the mining project review process Pelletier, Clem; Dushnisky, Kelvin


The practice of assessing risks arising from engineered system failure has evolved over the past several decades in both the nuclear and aerospace industries. It is only relatively recently, however, that similar efforts have been afforded to assessing the potential risks to the environment of resource development projects, including mining. It is argued that this relatively novel application for systematically reviewing the risks of system failure and their associated environmental consequences, or Environmental Risk Assessment, has evolved in response to several compelling issues. Among these are the need to respond to the increasingly stringent regulatory framework designed to protect the environment, and to distill from the multitude of concerns associated with resource development the key project-related risks that merit particular consideration in the project review process. One method for applying environmental risk assessment to a proposed mining project, along with the attendant benefits of so doing, is discussed herein.

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