Mining Rehabilitation Guide

The Rehabilitation of State-owned Mining Sites

Rehabilitation and Closure plan guide

List of Abandoned Mining Sites

Legislative Provisions

Fiscal Support



Mining Duties Return

Mine Rehabilitation


Since 1995, the Mining Act has required mining companies to submit, for approval, a rehabilitation and restoration plan for each active mining site. To facilitate the drafting of rehabilitation plans, the MERN, working with the Ministère de l'Environnement, du Développement durable, de la Faune et des Parcs, has produced the document Guidelines for Preparing a Mining Site Rehabilitation Plan and General Mining Site Rehabilitation Requirements. It sets out the requirements that must be met when rehabilitating a mining site in Québec, the contents of the plan that must be submitted, and the steps to be completed to have the plan approved.

Under section 215 of the Mining Act, all rehabilitation and restoration plans filed and approved after December 10, 2013, are made public and are available on the mining title management system Gestim. To access published rehabilitation and restoration plans, you should search the "Mining Site" section of the register.

A major effort has already been made to develop effective, economical rehabilitation methods. Many different experts from the university and engineering communities have participated in the work undertaken by the MERN. In several cases, exhaustive site characterizations have led to the development of innovative technologies using various waste materials such as forest biomass, sludge from water treatment plants, septic sludge, paper mill sludge, and ash from cogeneration plants. These technologies have helped reduce costs and, at least in part, solve some of the problems relating to the storage of waste materials. Various studies have been conducted to develop passive treatment systems adapted to the specific conditions of mine effluents (biofilters, treatment marshes, limestone drains, wet barriers, etc.).

Recognized expertise

The rehabilitation of mining sites has led to the development, in Québec, of recognized expertise in site characterization, the processes causing alteration in mine tailings, and the development of effective, economical technologies. In addition, the reuse of waste materials, the design of passive treatment systems and the integration of the concept of wildlife habitat enhancement in mining site rehabilitation projects are fully consistent with the concept of sustainable development.

The role of the MERN is to support the transfer of technology and knowledge to all players involved, take advantage of the expertise developed, and continue its research and technological innovation work. In the field of mining site rehabilitation, a total of 713 abandoned sites, according to the inventory updated to March 31, 2014 by the MERN, currently constitute an environmental liability.