Health, Safety and Reclamation Code for Mines in B.C. has been revised

March 7, 2017

The revised Health, Safety and Reclamation Code for Mines in British Columbia was released on February 28, 2017 by the B.C. Ministry of Energy and Mines and Responsible for Core Review. The revisions include, as per the Ministry, “updates to the code based on the unanimous recommendations from the Code Review Committee chaired by the Chief Inspector of Mines, which includes an equal number of representatives from First Nations, mine labour unions and industry.”

Harvey McLeod, P.Eng., P.Geo., Principal and Vice President, Strategic Marketing at Klohn Crippen Berger, was Chair of the Tailings Technical Review Sub-Committee. This sub-committee brought about important changes to Part 10 of the code on Permitting, Reclamation and Closure of Tailings Facilities. The sub-committee included the recommendations of the inquiry into the Mount Polley tailings spill, setting a new standard for the safe management of tailings ponds.

McLeod also had a significant role in the B.C. government’s investigation of the 2014 Mount Polley tailings spill. See the Chief Inspector of Mines' Investigation Report on Mount Polley. He subsequently helped the Ministry formulate the B.C. Mining Code’s updates, particularly the tailings storage facility (TSF) sections, which are now tailored to typical conditions encountered in B.C., and incorporate the state-of-the-practice for safe design and operations.

McLeod gave the prestigious R.M. Hardy Keynote Address at GeoVancouver 2016, the 69th Annual Canadian Geotechnical Conference, in October, 2016. His paper, titled “History of Tailings Dam Design, Innovation, and Practice Changes Required in the Wake of the Mount Polley Mine Tailings Breach”, was published in the conference proceedings.