Northern Abandoned Mine Reclamation Program

This program manages the remediation of 8 abandoned mines in the Yukon and Northwest Territories.

Abandoned mines present risks to the environment and human health and safety but these are currently being managed through ongoing care and maintenance activities at the sites.

Budget 2019 allocated $2.2 billion over 15 years to create the program, starting in 2020–21. The program will remediate the largest, most complex contaminated sites in the North:


Northwest Territories

The Great Bear Lake project consists of multiple smaller-scale sites in close proximity to each other.

Responsibility for the sites

Most of these northern contaminated sites originate from private-sector mining exploration and development activities that were abandoned by their former operators when they became insolvent.

Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada inherited these sites as manager of public lands and "owner of last resort" in the territories.

Under the Yukon and Northwest Territories Devolution Agreements, which transferred administration and control of most public lands to the territorial governments, the Government of Canada has accepted responsibility for the historical contamination and continues to be legally obligated to manage the sites.

Remediation and site management

Remediation projects are conducted in collaboration with territorial and Indigenous governments and other partners.

The Government of Canada supports the access of Indigenous and Northern communities impacted by each site to the employment and business opportunities associated with its clean up.

Map of Northern Abandoned Mine Reclamation Program
Description of Map of Northern Abandoned Mine Reclamation program

The "Projects of the Northern Abandoned Mines Reclamation Program" map features the Yukon and Northwest territories and identifies the 8 remediation projects of the program, as well as the location of nearby First Nation communities and other municipalities. In Yukon Territory, listed from furthest North to furthest South, these projects are the Clinton Creek Mine Remediation Project, United Keno Hill Mine Remediation Project, Mount Nansen Mine Project, Faro Mine Remediation Project and the Ketza River Mine Remediation Project. In the Northwest Territories, listed from furthest North to furthest South, these projects are the Great Bear Lake Remediation Project, Cantung Mine Project and the Giant Mine Remediation Project.

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