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Guidance for the Reporting of Tailings and Waste Rock to the National Pollutant Release Inventory (NPRI)

Definitions

The majority of the NPRI definitions already in use were not changed as a result of the addition of tailings and waste rock reporting. The term “disposal” was significantly altered during the development of the latest two NPRI Canada Gazette Notices. You will find below the list of selected working definitions.

  • “Inert” is a material that does not release NPRI substances.
  • “Ore” is a natural mineral or bitumen deposit in which at least one mineral occurs in sufficient concentrations to make mining the mineral economically feasible.
  • “Overburden” is the unconsolidated materials overlying the ore (or bitumen) deposit, including but not limited to soil, glacial deposits, sand, and sediment. (Adapted from Environment Canada’s Metal Mining Code of Practice)
  • “Tailings”is the waste material, which may or may not be mixed with water that remains after processing of ore, ore concentrate or mined materials to extract marketable components such as metals, minerals or bitumen. This could include ground rock material, sand, clay, process chemicals or residual metals, minerals or bitumen, petroleum coke (petcoke) and sulphur.
  • "Waste rock" is rock which is removed in the mining process to provide access to the ore, and is not further processed during the reporting year.
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