British Columbia Mine Reclamation Symposium

Johnny Mountain Mine reclamation : unraveling the BC permitting process Chaplin, Jessy


Seabridge Gold Inc., is a Canadian based resource exploration company that purchased SnipGold Corp., to acquire 29,436 hectares (294 km²) of exploration potential in British Columbia’s “Golden Triangle”. The closed Johnny Mountain Gold Mine, constructed and operated from 1988-1993, is an existing Iskut Project liability, which the new owners are addressing. The mine history includes intermittent site closure activities. Current liabilities include historic landfill, mill building and mine openings. With the company purchase, the existing reclamation liability associated with the former Johnny Mountain Mine was inherited by the new owner. The immediate goal was to determine if Johnny Mountain Mine was in compliance with regulations concurrent with executing the 1999 closure and reclamation program to mitigate impacts of historical mining activity. Reviews concluded with recommendations to address outstanding non-compliance items and multiple office and field activities were planned and completed to bring the project into regulatory compliance. Three examples are used to describe the process. First, upgrading the Landfill was a critical path item in the schedule. This included implementing new 2016 BC landfill criteria into the design, addressing: a non-compliance order and amending the historic permit to allow deposition of inert waste. The second example describes how the Tailings Storage Facility (TSF) was brought into compliance with the 2016 updates to the Mines Act and Health, Safety & Reclamation Code for Mines in BC (Code) for tailings storage facilities. The third example was to scrutinize the site and investigate existing site infrastructure to determine if existing mine conditions were in compliance with the Mines Act and Code regulations.

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