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Manitoba Announces Significant Investment to Help Clean Up Orphaned and Abandoned Mines in Budget 2022

Press Release

April 19, 2022

Investment in the Orphaned and Abandoned Mine Rehabilitation Program Aligns with Earth Day ‘Invest in Our Planet’ Theme: Wharton

As part of Budget 2022: Recover Together, the Manitoba government is investing an additional $50.7 million to further accelerate clean up of orphaned and abandoned mines at select sites across the province and create a new long-term care, maintenance and surveillance program for remediated sites, Environment, Climate and Parks Minister Jeff Wharton announced today.

“This significant investment in Budget 2022 builds upon our government’s success over the past few years in addressing environmental risks of orphaned and abandoned mine sites,” said Wharton. “This new investment to remediate orphaned and abandoned mine sites will help reduce health risks to Manitobans and protect the environment while contributing to environmental sustainability and help build our green economy.”

An orphaned and abandoned mine is a site that is no longer in operation and the owner cannot be found or is financially unable to carry out site rehabilitation and remediation, which becomes the responsibility of the province to clean up.

The additional investment of $50.7 million in Budget 2022: Recover Together will support the Orphaned and Abandoned Mines Rehabilitation Program over the next five years. To date, this program has completed remediation work at 39 high- and moderate-risk sites. The remediation activities implemented at these sites include debris clean up, installation of shaft caps, sealing mine openings, demolition and covering of tailings. These sites are now assessed as low risk that require periodic monitoring under a new long-term Care, Maintenance and Surveillance program.

The Orphaned and Abandoned Mine Rehabilitation program has recently achieved important milestones, with the completion of the construction phase of the Sherridon Mine Site and the significant remediation work completed at the Ruttan Mine Site, the minister noted.

The province’s ongoing commitment to investing in the clean up of orphaned and abandoned mine sites aligns with the 2022 Earth Day theme of ‘Invest in Our Planet’ and the Budget 2022 theme of ‘Protecting our Environment’. This year’s Earth Day celebration focuses on the green economy and calls for everyone to act together – business, government and the public to take action to preserve and protect human health, families and livelihoods, and restore nature and build a healthy planet sustainably, Wharton said.

Through the Orphaned and Abandoned Mine Rehabilitation Program, the province has partnered with local companies and Indigenous businesses to create green jobs, accelerate remediation activities and improve economic opportunities in Manitoba through construction, consulting and labour contracts.

For more information on the Orphaned and Abandoned Mine Rehabilitation Program, visit https://gov.mb.ca/sd/environment_and_biodiversity/mines/index.html.

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For more information:

  • Public information, contact Manitoba Government Inquiry: 1-866-626-4862 or 204-945-3744.
  • Media requests for general information, contact Communications and Engagement: [email protected].
  • Media requests for ministerial comment, contact Communications and Stakeholder Relations: 204-451-7109.

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