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The information provided in this document has been compiled from various sources, and the National Orphaned/Abandoned Mines Initiative Advisory Committee makes no representation and takes no responsibility that such information is accurate, current or complete. The reader is advised to undertake his or her own independent investigation to validate this information.

All Canadian provinces and territories with a history of mining and several federal agencies maintain their own inventory of mining and exploration sites that pose a risk to human health and safety or to the environment. Many of these inventories only contain the sites that are known to pose a risk and that are now the responsibility of the jurisdiction. There is a large discrepancy in the level of detail and coverage of these inventories from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Thus, in order to obtain a Canada-wide perspective of the issue, a national database had to account for these gaps in coverage, detail and standardization. Furthermore, a system that builds on the strengths of the individual inventories and does not impact their current operational status had to be privileged.

The NOAMI Inventory is a web portal incorporating Inactive Mineral Site inventories from participating Canadian jurisdictions. Information is displayed in accordance to an umbrella NOAMI Definition permitting data from the various jurisdictions to be displayed simultaneously in a coherent manner. A web portal approach is used whenever possible, providing users with a link to the original data source.

Users are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the NOAMI Definition applied in the portal to display the data as well as the various definitions and particularities in respect to each jurisdictional inventory while considering the limitations of the data.

Orphaned or abandoned mines are those mines for which the owner cannot be found or for which the owner is financially unable or unwilling to carry out clean-up. They pose environmental, health, safety and economic problems to communities, the mining industry and governments in many countries, including Canada.

Abandoned mines exist within all mining jurisdictions in Canada. These sites, however, in some instances are not well documented with respect to either their numbers or their associated physical/health/environmental impacts and liabilities. Further research and compilation of information on abandoned mines is necessary to enable sound decision-making, cost-efficient planning and sustainable rehabilitation. Such information is also necessary to ensure transparency of decision-making and access to information by governments, civil society, industry and other stakeholders.

The National Orphaned/Abandoned Mines Advisory Committee (NOAMI) was struck in March 2002 at the request of Canadian Mines Ministers that a multi-stakeholder advisory committee be set up to study various issues and initiatives relating to the development of partnerships in the implementation of remediation programs across Canada.

The Advisory Committee takes direction from Mines Ministers and reports back to Mines Ministers via the Intergovernmental Working Group on the Mineral Industry (IGWG).

Various task groups have been established by NOAMI to undertake in-depth analysis of a variety of issues and to provide recommendations and advice to the Committee. One such task group was assigned the responsibility for information gathering and had the mandate to develop capacity for a national inventory of orphaned/abandoned mine sites.

Thus, NOAMI, in collaboration with numerous partners including provinces, territories and several federal departments and agencies have joined their efforts in order to provide Canadians and other stakeholders with access to the NOAMI Inventory of Orphaned/Abandoned Mines.

The dedicated efforts of the late Ward Kilby, Caleen Kilby (Cal Data Ltd.) and Suzanne Richer (Mozaika Geomatics) in the development of the NOAMI inventory are much appreciated.

© National Orphaned/Abandoned Mines Initiative (NOAMI) 2004