Mine closures in Canada: Problems, prospects, and policies

Robert Keyes

The mining industry can be found in every province and territory of Canada, producing over 60 different mineral commodities. Some 120 communities depend heavily on the minerals and metals sector, many others in a less direct but significant way (for example, transportation and processing). All of these communities are potential 'problems' if and when the mines upon which they depend either decline or close. Yet the reality is that many of them will have a continued longevity as new ore bodies are discovered to replace the depleted ones or as diversification into other activities replaces mining in their economic base. Others, unfortunately, face severe disruption. The dynamic economics of the mining cycle bring both life and death to mining towns, but it is usually very difficult to forecast the timing and magnitude of problems. There will be closures but where and when is not easily predicted with accuracy. This introductory chapter on the Canadian scenario sets out some of the factors at work and issues in play. It is not an academic review of mining community issues, but is the perspective of a policy analyst having to deal with real and specific problems in a practical and effective manner. This means a different emphasis and less academic perspective than that of other authors.

Keyes, R. (1992). Mine closures in Canada: Problems, prospects, and policies. In C. Neil, M. Tykkylainen & J. Bradbury (Eds.), Coping with closure: An international comparison of mine town experiences (pp. 27-43). London; New York: Routledge.

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Book chapter
Mine closures in Canada: Problems, prospects, and policies