The Government of Yukon has released guidelines to help the industry improve water management at quartz mining projects.
According to the Government of Yukon, these guidelines are iterative and it intends to review the guidelines after a period of three years.
“It is important to all Yukoners to have healthy freshwater,” said Environment Minister Pauline Frost. “We know industry can impact our water, and the development of these guidelines is very helpful to the environmental management of the quartz mining industry in Yukon. This guide shows us how governments and industry can work together to manage our natural resources responsibly.”
In order to get a water licence, quartz mining proponents must submit an adaptive management plan outlining how they will manage water at their site. Until now, there has not been Yukon-specific guidance on what should be included in an adaptive management plan. These guidelines will fill that gap and make these plans more consistent, clear and efficient across Yukon.
“These guidelines will help to ensure that mineral production occurs in an environmentally responsible manner,” said Ranj Pillai, minister of energy, mines, and resources. “The mineral sector is a major driver of Yukon’s economy so we strive to ensure mining projects advance in a timely manner through a regulatory process that values high environmental standards and vigilant consideration of Yukon First Nations’ and Yukoners’ interests.”
This standardized approach will help protect Yukon’s freshwater, promote sustainable water use by industry, and help the industry prepare for unforeseen environmental conditions such as the impacts of climate change.