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Changes to Ontario's mining regulation coming

| www.cos-mag.com

Ontario is consulting on amendments to Regulation 854 (Mines and Mining Plants) under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, which applies to all mines and mining plants and to mining development in Ontario. The consultations will end on Jan. 15.

The proposed amendments would, if approved, strengthen and improve requirements for worker health and safety by:

• introducing new requirements for mines and mining plants to conduct risk assessments and have formal traffic management programs

• strengthening existing requirements regarding water management and ground control

• updating training requirements for surface diamond drill operations to reflect changes to the modular training program made by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities.

The proposed amendments were developed in consultation with the Mining Legislative Review Committee, which was established to provide advice to the Minister of Labour on health and safety issues in the mining sector. They would implement key recommendations made in the final report from the Mining, Health, Safety and Prevention Review — which issued a total of 18 recommendations — and address recommendations made in recent Coroner’s jury inquests into fatalities in the mining sector. 

Ontario's mining sector employs 27,000 people, with another 50,000 jobs in supply chains and support activities. The province is the top destination for mining investment and production in all of Canada with a total value of mineral production reaching $10.7 billion in 2011.

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