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

Appendix 4: Step-by-step guide for reporting tailings and waste rock to the NPRI

This Guide is designed to provide a step-by-step approach to reporting to the NPRI for tailings and waste rock. The more complete guide provides more detailed explanations of the reporting requirements. The NPRI Canada Gazette notices provide the legal basis for reporting.

Read this early and plan your work. Some sampling and measurements may be required for reporting. Planning ahead is essential. Any sampling and measurements required will be specified for all years from 2006 to 2009.

Start with the report for 2009, and then estimate releases for the previous years.

For waste rock

  1. Determine if waste rock was generated in 2009 (and from 2006 to 2008).
  2. If so, does some or all of the waste rock meet the criteria for exclusions?
    • a. Is all the waste rock considered inert in your permit?
    • b. Is the concentration of arsenic below 12 mg/kg and
    • c. Is the sulphur below 0.2% by weight? and if not
    • d. Is the ratio of neutralizing to acidifying potential greater than 3:1?

      *See guide section 3.4 for more details on exclusions.

  3. For waste rock that is not excluded, include the quantity of NPRI substances in the waste rock for the threshold calculation.

For tailings

  1. Determine if tailings were generated in 2009 (and from 2006 to 2008).
  2. Sand in tailings should not be considered in the calculation of thresholds. This applies to oil sand mining and in-situ production, as well as other mining processes that produce sand.

    *See section 3.4 Stable/Inert Constituents of tailings

  3. For threshold calculations include the quantity of NPRI substances that are found in tailings. 

    *See Table 1 for a list of NPRI substances that are relevant to the different mining sectors.

  4. Do your reporting threshold calculation while including the NPRI substances that are found in tailings and waste rock as outlined above.
  5. Report releases, disposals and transfers off site for recycling for those substances that exceed the reporting threshold.
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