British Columbia Mine Reclamation Symposium

Reclamation 'bonding' : banker's delight Galbraith, D. M.


The total cost of completing outstanding mine reclamation in British Columbia exceeds the amount held by government in the form of security deposits by over two hundred million dollars. This is not satisfactory to a policy that requires full coverage of liability, or one that argues for liability to be based on management of risk, not liability. Complicating this issue is the fact that it costs government more to do reclamation work than it does a mining company, which in turn complicates reaching agreement on the amount of the security deposit. If the responsibility for completing reclamation left in default can be shifted from government to mining companies, two objectives would be accomplished: agreement will be more easily achieved on the required amount for the security deposit ; and roles of both parties can be more effectively carried out. Two things are necessary to achieve this: companies would have to develop agreements that would assure completion of reclamation programs in the event of default; and government and industry would have to establish an agency to play the role that bonding and insurance companies traditionally do in managing risk.

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