Who pays for the decommissioning? Who manages leaks after the mine has been closed?

Decommissioning PaymentUnder current regulations, the proponent of the mine is held responsible for its decommissioning and must provide financial guarantees (put money aside) for the closure of each stage of the mine. However since the detailed environmental assessment for the decommissioning work is not done until it becomes time to apply for a license to decommission the mine, there is significant uncertainty that the financial guarantees set up at the time of granting the mine’s operating license will be sufficient for the closure plan.

Under current law, after a uranium mine has been decommissioned and a license to abandon has been issued, the long-term stewardship of the mine including on-going environmental monitoring, becomes the responsibility of the government, and the proponent can no longer be held responsible for events at the closed site.

The cost of cleaning up and restoring unlawfully abandoned mine sites in Eeyou Istchee has been historically expensive for governments. Such negative economic repercussions do no not help the social acceptability of mining projects which are already controversial in nature.

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