Kitikmeot Corporation and Jiri Hermann
THE FIVE STAGES OF MINING
There are five stages to mining2: 1) Exploration, 2) Feasibility and Planning (sometimes called “Development”), 3) Construction (sometimes called “Pre-Production”), 4) Operation, and 5) Closure and ReclamationClosure and Reclamation Stage: restoration of disturbed and/or mined land to its original contour, use, or condition.. Aboriginal people who want to get involved in a mine need to think through the impactsImpacts: the effect or impression of one thing on another such as the impact of a mining project on the life of an Aboriginal community. and opportunities each of these stages may bring to the life of their community.
This section presents information on each of these five stages:
- The government regulationsRegulations: rules that govern activities that are occurring on the land., laws, licensesLicenses: documents that must be obtained in order to apply for or carry out certain activities., and permitsPermits: legally-binding permissions that govern activities that may occur during exploration or mine operation, like quarrying, use or impact on water, building of transmission lines, etc. that require attention at each stage. (Only the acts and regulations that apply across Canada and Yukon are covered.)
- The range of benefits that may be available at each stage in terms of profits, management, training, jobs, and compensationCompensation: something (such as money) given or received as payment or reparation (as for a service or loss or injury)..
- The kinds of agreementAgreement: any explicit, signed document that is negotiated and includes mutual concessions or limitations placed on both sides. Examples are Negotiation AgreementsNegotiation Agreement: an early agreement in the mining process, likely to occur in the Exploration Stage, which would outline the basis of the relationship between the Aboriginal group and the mining company and how the relationship will evolve if the mine moves forward. , Exploration Cooperation Benefit Agreements, Socio-Economic Participation AgreementsSocio-Economic Participation Agreements (SEPAs): private, confidential contracts between Aboriginal communities and resource developers, like mining companies. SEPAs specify how the communities that will be affected by the development of a resource will also benefit from that development. Many SEPAs include terms about the employment and training of Aboriginal people, compensation payments, protection of the environment, and profit-sharing. SEPAs are often called Impact Benefits Agreements (IBAs) and Cooperation Benefit Agreements (CBAs), and other names. The Aboriginal Mining Guide calls them all SEPAs.. that may be appropriate at each stage. These agreements address issues that may arise between the mining project, the community, and/or government. When the negotiation of the agreement actually occurs is up to the parties involved. Some agreements may be negotiated at more than one stage (see table below). However, an agreement that assigns benefits to one or more parties must be signed before the work commences that will actually create those benefits. When agreements get signed after the work commences, benefits are much more difficult to realize.
- Every stage of mining can have serious impacts on people and on the environment. An impact at one stage may recur at another stage. These impacts can be minimized, given thoughtful and steady attention at all times. We discuss the potential impacts of mining at the end of this module. (See topic “Mining Impacts,” p. 2-35.)
- Note that there is no sharp distinction between the different stages of mining. Many mining activities, major players, agreements, and business and employment opportunities appear during more than one stage.
Go to Appendix 2 for a table that summarizes the five stages of mining and the major players, the types of agreement, and the business and job opportunities important to each.