Mining and mineral exploration companies face unique risks. We’ve compiled a basic risk management checklist so you can see how your organization stacks up.

Liability Risks Employees

  • Are all employees covered by workers compensation?
  • Do you have student workers sign waivers?
  • Have you purchased accident insurance for senior employees?
  • Do you need to protect against kidnap and ransom exposures?
  • Have you developed a safety training program at each exploration site?

Exploration Projects

  • Are there any old mine workings or other hazards on your properties?
  • Have any underground openings, tunnels, shafts and adits been properly secured and/or fenced and sign posted with adequate warnings?

Forest Fire

  • Is there any potential for a forest fire at any of your projects?
  • Have you implemented any controls with respect to burning debris? Have you established a no smoking policy?
  • Do your contractors have Forest Fire Fighting Expense coverage? This needs to be specifically added to the policy. Are the limits adequate?


  • Do you have contracts with all subcontractors?
  • Do you require subcontractors to purchase adequate insurance coverage and adequate limits of liability?
  • Do you ask to be added to their policy as an additional insured? Do you ask for proof of insurance?
  • Do you have an exposure arising from your subcontractors operations with respect to storage of fuels and other pollutants? Does this subcontractor have pollution coverage and have you been named on the policy?
  • Does the subcontractor’s policy provide coverage for forest fire fighting expense?


  • Do you keep or store any pollutants at your project sites?
  • Do you have any above ground or underground storage tanks?
  • Have you developed a clear plan for responding to and reporting spills?
  • Are all employees aware of the plan?
  • Are subcontractors required to carry pollution coverage?

Aviation (Helicopter) Risks

  • Have you built any helicopter pads or landing strips?
  • Do you service or maintain any helicopter or fixed wing landing facilities?
  • Will your employees be involved in any refueling operations?
  • Do you store equipment, machinery or other goods at any airport premises or landing facility?
  • Do you or will you fly anyone such as analysts into your projects?
  • If yes, do you ask for waivers to be signed?
  • Have you arranged adequate insurance for aviation risks?

Directors and Officers Liability (D&O)

Directors and Officers Liability Insurance

  • Does the corporation have adequate limits for D&O coverage?
  • Does the policy exclude taxes or punitive damages?
  • Is there a separate excess Side A DIC policy to protect the D&Os only?
  • Is an admitted policy required in the country you operate in?
  • Is there a priority of payments clause protecting individual D&Os in the event of a claim where the corporation itself is using up a large portion of the limit?
  • How does your policy respond in the event that claims include covered and uncovered allegations?
  • Does your policy contain a hammer clause? (This says if a settlement offer is declined by the insured, and the final damages are higher than that offer, then that difference is not covered, or only a portion is covered. Allegations can be highly personal and a director or officer may want to prove their innocence without the threat of coverage being withdrawn).
  • Do you have the broadest pollution coverage available? Most D&O policies contain a pollution exclusion that is very restrictive as to the amounts that can be paid out if the alleged wrongful act was linked to pollution.
  • Does your policy contain a major shareholder exclusion?


  • Do the corporate bylaws indemnify directors and officers to the fullest extent permitted by the law?
  • Are your directors and officers protected by a contractual indemnity? This may provide added comfort and certainty to the D&Os.

Interested in learning more? The Axis Insurance Group has experienced risk management professionals who specialize in the mining industry.