Bill Pain

Bill Pain

Company: Government of the Northwest Territories

Job title: Environmental Scientist


With 16+ years of experience in the environmental assessment and remediation sector, Bill Pain has worked as an environmental scientist and regulatory adviser with the Government of the Northwest Territories for the past eight years. Bill’s work involves leading numerous interactive activities outlining the estimate of reclamation securities to be held by the government using closure and reclamation plans for mining and exploration projects in the NWT. This work includes reviewing and commenting on technical reclamation plans for contaminated sites (or proposed developments), often while reviewing analytical data for performance assessments to provide advice to the regulatory boards on the best practices, a proponent should be using in assessing and reclaiming a site as required by the applicable legislation and policies. Before his work with the GNWT, Bill worked for several environmental consultants and the Department of National Defence, where he performed numerous scientistic monitoring and remediation programs across Canada, including in the high arctic.

Bill recently took part in our speaker Q&A. Hear what he has to say below:

  1. Why should mining companies prioritise water stewardship in the age of critical resources? Sustainable and responsible water stewardship should be the foundational concept for any new development, especially for critical resources. With modern land claims and social licensing requirements, projects will not move forward unless engagement and consultation have demonstrated the importance of water stewardship by the proponent.
  2. Why does the industry need to adapt its water management strategy across the whole life of a mine? The traditional focus on operational impacts has ignored the risks associated with long-term impacts (i.e., post-closure) and the need for engagement with indigenous groups and landowners at the initial stages of the mine plan. Failure to do so results in uncertainty in relinquishment and the potential for in-perpetuity monitoring.
  3. What can we expect from your contribution at the 2023 Water in Mining Global Summit? I hope to provide insight from a leading jurisdiction on mine regulations that incorporate co-management with indigenous governments and organizations. I also aim to provide context on where I think the best practices for mine development concerning engagement, consultation, and successful closure are going.
  4. Why is it important for the industry to come together at the Water in Mining Global Summit?It is essential to hear from other jurisdictions on new methods or best practices on what is working and where the industry is moving to. Hearing successful case examples from other jurisdictions redefines what is possible for successful operations and closure.
  5. What are you most looking forward to when you attend the Water in Mining Global Summit? I look forward to hearing how companies engage indigenous peoples in other jurisdictions to obtain successful authorizations and, hopefully, the successful closure of mite sites. I am also interested in hearing about innovative ways to deal with water legacy issues, especially with the push for critical minerals.  


Long term closure planning 1:50 pm

Delving into the importance of forward planning and stakeholder engagement to ensure a successful closure. Exploring the liability, responsibility and security of legacy mines regarding environmental impact, considering indigenous communities and local taxpayers. Chaired by Nadja Kunz, Assistant Professor, The University of British ColombiaRead more

day: 27 April 2023