Media Contacts

Ministry of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation

Media Relations
250 952-0622


Actions to support B.C.’s commitment to regulatory excellence for safe mining practices

Since 2016, the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation has taken substantial action to improve mining oversight in B.C. These actions include:

  • implementing revisions to the tailings storage facility (TSF) provisions of the Health, Safety and Reclamation Code for Mines in British Columbia based on recommendations provided by the Independent Expert Engineering Investigation Review Panel and the chief inspector of mines, including requirements related to the engineer of record, Independent Tailings Review Board, TSF qualified professional and dam safety inspections;
  • establishing a Standing Code Review Committee to ensure the key technical regulation for mining in B.C. is kept up to date and remains world class; and
  • separating the permitting and compliance and enforcement regulatory functions to ensure core regulatory functions are properly resourced and prioritized.

The Mining Health, Safety and Enforcement Division, created in 2019, has invested $20 million over three years to enhance regulatory effectiveness.

The Standing Code Review Committee, established in 2019, ensures provincial regulations remain current and responsive to changes in the industry. The first revisions, unanimously recommended by the committee, came into force April 1, 2021, and the work of the committee is ongoing.

Government strengthened and modernized mining oversight in B.C. by amending the Mines Act in August 2020. These amendments:

  • created a new chief permitting officer, distinct from the chief inspector of mines. This change allows the chief inspector of mines to focus their efforts on health, safety and enforcement;
  • further strengthened government’s ability to hold mines accountable by strengthening investigation authorities, clarifying offence provisions and increasing the limitation period from three to five years in both the Mines Act and the Environmental Management Act; and,
  • established a chief auditor, who oversees the ministry’s auditing team that evaluates the effectiveness of the mining regulatory framework and makes recommendations for improvements.

Additional actions to improve mining oversight include establishing the Mine Investigation Unit within the ministry, resulting in the first successful prosecutions in two decades and implementing an administrative monetary penalties program for non-compliance.