Climate Adaptation in the Canadian Mining Sector

Results of a survey of 26 Canadian mining companies on risks and opportunities related to climate change.

A changing climate presents a wide range of risks and opportunities for the Canadian mining sector. Extreme temperatures, increased or decreased precipitation, stronger storms, and rising sea levels could all have significant impacts on mining operations. The risks can be organized into three categories: core operations, value chain, and broad network. Risks to core operations would affect physical assets, production processes, health and safety. Value chain risks would affect supplies of natural resources, workforce and changing lifestyles, and customer demand. Finally, broad network risks include disruptions to supply chains and interruptions in electricity/water supply, among others.

The survey was administered by the Mining Association of Canada, with support from Natural Resources Canada through the Adaptation Platform’s Mining Working Group. The Working Group also contributed to the design of the survey. The survey approach was chosen to get a sector perspective on how the various members of the Canadian mining sector are addressing climate change risks. The results will help inform the Mining Association and the Adaptation Platform’s Mining Working Group in their efforts to support the management of risks associated with climate change within the natural resource sector.

This report contains an analysis of the results of a survey of 26 mining companies operating in Canada. The questions address to what degree mining companies in Canada are assessing climate change as a risk and what actions, if any, have been taken to adapt. The survey also extracts information about companies and their operations and describes barriers or information gaps that exist which prevent adaptive actions to address risks posed by climate change.

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