Officials have said that mining and energy exploration will be banned near the Glacial National Park in British Columbia, along the US-Canada border, despite a number of mining companies already having applications for mining activities with the government there.

Glacier and Waterton Lakes National Park is a UN-designated World Heritage site and officials say they will fight to protect the region from any impact from mining.

Montana and British Columbian officials said they will jointly sign an agreement to prohibit any kind of mining, oil and gas development and coalbed gas extraction in the region, according to the New York Times.

In recent times, concern has been growing among environmentalists about the disastrous impact of mining and drilling on wildlife and natural resources in the region if mining is to go ahead.

Proposals for gas drilling, gold exploration and coal mining by the energy companies have been resting on government decisions on whether to permit mining in the region.

Stuart Rogers, president of MAX Resource Corp, a company which explored gold at the site last December, said it was extremely disappointed at the ban and would seek adequate compensation.

Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer said companies which had already invested in terms of lease or exploration will be compensated by the Canadian and US federal governments.