Regional mine reclamation bond calculator guidance

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Regional Mine Reclamation Bond Calculator Guidance Document

HEALTH SAFETY AND PERMITTING BRANCH MINING AND MINERALS DIVISION

MINISTRY OF ENERGY, MINES AND PETROLEUM RESOURCES

APRIL 2018

Regional Mine Reclamation Bond Calculator Guidance Document

Credits:

This report is based on work undertaken by EDI Environmental Dynamics Inc. Staff who contributed to this report include: Tim Antill, M.Sc., R.P.Bio., P.Ag.............................................Primary Author Patrick Audet, Ph.D., R.P.Bio................................................Senior Advice & Review

EFFECTIVE DATE: 2018-01-04 VERSION:

BRANCH: Health and Safety & Permitting (HS)

Table of contents

INTRODUCTION ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 5

PROJECT BACKGROUND AND APPROACH --------------------------------------------------------- 6

Rate Values for Services, Goods & Activities -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------6 Reclamation Requirements -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------7 End Land Use------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------8

RECLAMATION OF ACCESS STRUCTURES ON REGIONAL MINES ----------------------------- 9

PROCEDURES FOR DETERMINING REGIONAL MINE RECLAMATION BOND REQUIREMENTS ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 11

Compiling Project Information & Clarification of Project Details --------------------------------------------------------------- 11 Progressive Reclamation Approaches to Reduce Bond Requirements -------------------------------------------------------- 11 Limitations ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 12 User Modifications -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 12 Reclamation Bond Return ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 13

STRUCTURE AND CONTENT OF THE BOND CALCULATION SHEET ------------------------ 13

Section 1: Equipment Mobilization/Demobilization --------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 14 Section 2: Ground Based Asset/Debris Removal -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 15 Section 3: Fuel/hydrocarbon Removal --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 20 Section 4: Ground Based Exploration Activities --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 21 Section 5: Helicopter Based Exploration Activities------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 23 Sections 6, 7 & 8: Placer, Sand & Gravel and Quarry Activities ------------------------------------------------------------------- 25 Section 9: Site Preparation ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 30 Section 10: Supplemental Topsoil---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 31 Section 11: Access Trail/Road --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 32 Section 12: Stream Crossing/Restoration------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 35 Section 13: Revegetation ? Seeding ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 36 Section 14: Revegetation ? Planting------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 37

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Regional Mine Reclamation Bond Calculator Guidance Document

Section 15: Additional Revegetation Activities ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 38 Section 16: Reclamation Monitoring ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 39 Section 17: Planning and assessment ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 41 Section 18: Miscellaneous-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 42 Section 19: Project management----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 43 Section 20: Uncertainty Factor-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 43 Section 21: Inflation ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 43

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Regional Mine Reclamation Bond Calculator Guidance Document

Introduction

The B.C. Ministry of Energy and Mines and Petroleum Resources (MEMPR) requires proponents of regional mine activities (e.g. exploration, placer, aggregate, quarries) to post a reclamation security bond intended to cover the default cost of site reclamation, maintenance and closure. The value of the security bond is set during the Notice of Work (NoW) application process and can be modified during the life of the project depending on the nature of mining activities, specific features and/or other project circumstances.

The bond is held by the Province until reclamation requirements have been met to the satisfaction of the Mine Inspector, at which point the bond is released and returned to the proponent. In cases where the proponent abandons the site and fails to meet these requirements, the reclamation security bond is used by the Province to cover the cost and obligations of site reclamation and closure.

The Regional Reclamation Bond Calculator was developed to assist Inspectors of Mines in the determination of the appropriate bond amount. It is not to fetter the decision of the Inspectors and the bond calculation can be modified by the inspector to account for the site specific circumstances.

The purposes of the Regional Reclamation Bond Calculator are:

To provide Regional Mines Inspectors with a defensible and consistent means of assessing reclamation liability for regional mines

To avoid financial risk and liability to the public/government by ensuring the assessed security represents the cost of mine reclamation to the Province

To encourage dialogue between proponent and Inspector, with the aim of limiting unnecessary disturbance and prompting progressive reclamation

To promote transparency in bonding levels and methodology to First Nations and the public.

Experience in use of the calculator tool shows that is facilitates dialogue between the mine inspector and the proponent on specific project design and activities. Such a dialogue may, in turn, result in amendments to the project design that could limit environmental liability and foster reclamation success. Discussions pertaining to the cost and effort of reclamation at the earliest stages of planning and permitting can improve environmental compliance, then resulting in the timely release and return of the security bond for responsible operators.

This document provides a background on the development and content of the bond calculator followed by guidance (for users) on the recommended approach for determining reclamation bond values with the calculator.

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Regional Mine Reclamation Bond Calculator Guidance Document

Project Background and Approach

It was recognized that in the past, methods used for determining the value of reclamation security bonds has differed among MEMPR regions. Therefore, the bond calculator was developed to reduce potential inter-regional differences by applying standard rates for a suite of common reclamation activities that are typically associated with certain mining activities. The bond calculator is formulated as a Microsoft Excel? spreadsheet to enable a simple, rapid and transparent method to document reclamation calculations and values. The bond calculator is designed for ease of use, versatility, and accuracy to provide a reasonable estimate of anticipated reclamation costs.

Environmental Dynamics Inc. (EDI) was retained by the BC Ministry of Energy and Mines and Petroleum Resources (MEMPR) to assist in the development of a reclamation bond calculator for regional mine exploration, placer, aggregate, and quarry activities. Initial development of the bond calculator stemmed from discussion with regional MEMPR personnel regarding the existing bonding process, as well as a review of alternative bond spreadsheets used by regional MEMPR branches. Research and development involved review of relevant legislation, regulations and guidance documents related to exploration, placer, aggregate, and quarry activities. Bonding methods, algorithms and spreadsheets used in different jurisdictions were also reviewed, such as those from the states of Arizona, Nevada and Montana in the USA.

The bond calculator was then drafted, refined and calibrated over the course of the project based on recurring feedback with MEMPR staff. The bond calculator was later presented as a public consultation to relevant industry groups (e.g. Association of Mineral Exploration, regional placer mining associations and BC Sand and Gravel Association) and several First Nation groups (e.g. the Tahltan and Taku River Tlingit First Nations in Northwest, BC).

Rate Values for Services, Goods & Activities

In the development of the calculator, the various individuals were contacted to discuss process, activities and estimated costs for services, goods and activities. Sources of information consulted in determining appropriate productivity factors and costs included:

MEMPR Regional Mines Inspectors and Reclamation Specialists

Ministry of Forest Lands and Natural Resource Operations (FLNRO) Road Engineering staff

Reclamation goods and services providers

Bridge and road construction contractors

2016-17 Blue Book Equipment Rental Rate Guide (Heavy Road Builders 2016)

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