Have province become mines’ bonding agent
Mines are required to post a bond regarding the cleanup of the site once all the valuable ore has been removed.
The bond is posted by a bonding company and a fee is paid by the mine owners out of the profits of the mine.
In most cases, the fee is paid on monthly or quarterly bases.
This is how it works:
Once the ore has been removed, the mine owners close the mine and dissolve the mine’s corporate identity. This means there is no long anyone to pay the fee to the bonding agent.
This means there is no longer anyone responsible for the mine-site cleanup.
It must be remembered that both the mining entity and the bonding agency knew this would be the way it worked and that, under this procedure, neither would be required to pay the cleanup costs.
Therefore, the bonding fees would be a way to shut the public up.
In addition, it would collect much less money than required for the job.
When the mine has been emptied of valuable ore and the miners move on, the province’s revenue drops due to the decrease in the province’s share of income tax on miner’s wages and the loss of spin-off money that occurs in the city.
The provincial finance minister would then be put into a situation that would require him to state something to the effect of, “Well, we can’t spend money we don’t have.”
We are now left with a couple of big holes in the ground, toxic ponds and creeks here and there and a serious dust problem all over the place.
This has happened in Montana in a number of places.
It would be much better if the province were to take over the role of bonding agent and have the fee put into a separate account, not the be touched by grubby politicians or bureaucrats or used for any other purpose until such time as the mine peters out.
This way, the amount collected could realistically cover the actual cost of the cleanup.
This money has to be separate from all different taxes and fees the province collects.
This would solve one aspect of our concerns about the proposed Ajax mine. It would also take a large tax burden off of our children — if we choose to clean up the mess.