Mining

Mining makes up one of British Columbia’s largest industries and revenue sources, but behind the profits, communities and the environment often pay the price for resource extraction and development.

 

We work collaboratively to address many of the current challenges facing communities and the environment from the mining industry. Wildsight strives to be a leader in bringing science to the forefront of public discourse and policy advocacy. We work locally, regionally, and internationally to advocate for strong and enforceable mining and environmental legislation that upholds Indigenous Rights, effective conservation, and land-use decisions.
 

We believe that change begins with reforms to British Columbia’s mining laws.
 

As part of the B.C. Mining Law Reform Network, we advocate for the banning of dangerous mine waste dams, we call for Indigenous rights to be upheld including the free, prior, and informed consent of mining activities on Indigenous territories, the respect and incorporation of mining into land use plans, and ensuring mining companies pay adequate bonding to cover the full cost of reclamation.

Image of an open pit coal mines with massive trucks driving down roads, coal dust in the airPhoto: Garth Lenz/ILCP
 
We take action on the issues facing mine-affected communities.

Not only do mining activities have the potential to affect local communities and the environment today but long after operations finish. Common threats to communities include water pollution, air pollution, landscape-scale landform changes, and direct threats to wildlife. One of our longest ongoing projects has been the fight to stop selenium pollution in the Elk Valley and transboundary Lake Koocanusa.

Four operational mountaintop removal coal mines are actively leaching selenium into the watershed from waste rock dump sites – a byproduct of mountaintop removal mining. Some of the negative impacts to the valley include threats to high elevation grasslands, population collapses of local fisheries, threats to drinking water and air quality, and methane emissions.

We are doing everything we can through engagement with federal and provincial governments, in court cases, by involvement in working groups, and through community outreach, and on the ground testing and monitoring.

 

How you can help

 

Visit B.C. Mining Law Reform Network to learn more on how B.C. mining laws affect you and the action you can take!

Your gift towards our conservation efforts will create meaningful change for wildlife and wild places affected by BC mining.


Mining news

NWP Coal Canada is forging ahead with its plans to build a new metallurgical coal mine in British Columbia’s Elk Valley, a region already plagued with the fallout from an international water pollution crisis. Read more 
In early December, the City of Fernie announced it would begin immediately exploring for a new secondary water supply, with workers planning to operate seven days a week until Christmas Eve. Rush jobs and hiring skilled workers to operate without days off is expensive. It begs the question: what exaRead more 
On Record Ridge near the town of Rossland, British Columbia, the perfect conditions exist for a very particular plant called the mountain holly fern to…Read more 
In 2022, Teck profited a staggering $6.4 billion from their steelmaking coal mines in southeast BC’s Elk Valley, making up 60% of Teck…Read more 
A mountain-top coal mine.

Laws of the land

October 26, 2023
In late September, British Columbia's Supreme Court gave the province 18 months to update its Mineral Tenure Act. The decision has significant implications for both reconciliation and environmental protections in the province. Read more 
In Sparwood, dust from the nearby coal mine sometimes drifts over the town, coating everything in fine black powder and leaving some residents concerned about…Read more 
Read more news

Join The Team

Want to protect wildlife, clean water and wild spaces? Volunteer with us! Wildsight volunteers are a very special group of people who give generously of their time to stuff envelopes, attend rallies, help run events, put up posters, keep tabs on forestry practices in their communities and participate in citizen science initiatives.

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES