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Comparing EIA and ESHIA for evaluating mining projects

Mining Engineering , 2012, Vol. 64, No. 8, pp. 87-92

Mitchell, R.E.


The environmental impact assessment (EIA) is the accepted method for evaluating proposed mining and other industrial projects to obtain regulatory approval and to help companies plan for responsible development. Another increasingly common evaluation system for proposed projects is the environmental, social and health impact assessment (ESHIA). An ESHIA differs from an EIA for its generally more comprehensive and inclusive approach to evaluating potential impacts, such as on public health, and other features such as an ecosystem services approach to assessing biophysical and community impacts. An ESHIA may also be required by certain lenders for financing major projects. In this paper, EIA standards for the province of Alberta, Canada are discussed and compared to ESHIA. It concludes with several recommendations for consideration.