40th Annual Mine Reclamation Symposium:
2016 A Great Success

Jonathan Buchanan Chair of 2016 conference

Download the 2016 Awards Press Release with this key quote from the 2016 Chair:

“For forty years, the Mine Reclamation Symposium has provided an opportunity to share with the public some of the best, and most innovative work that mining companies do in restoring land and fish and wildlife habitat,” says Jonathan Buchanan, 2015-2016 Chair of the TRCR. “This year, we are pleased to recognize Thompson Creek Metals Company Inc. with the Jake McDonald Annual Mine Reclamation Award for its work at the Mount Milligan mine.”

Thompson Creek Metals Mount Milligan mine - winner of 2015 Mine Reclamation Award

Thompson Creek’s Mount Milligan mine – winner of 2015 Mine Reclamation award

The prestigious Jake McDonald award was presented to Thompson Creek Minerals Company by Elaine McKnight, Deputy Minister of BC Ministry of Energy and Mines and accepted by Wes Chingee and Daphne Hall of Mount Milligan Mine with Kim Bellefontaine, BC Ministry of Energy and Mines on the right.

Conference Highlights

The 2016 TRCR Mine Reclamation Symposium was held at the Lakeside Convention Centre in Penticton, BC from September 18 to 21st, 2016.

The Symposium included an excellent 4 day program commencing on the 18th with a full-day Workshop on Treatment Wetlands – Current State of Knowledge and Best Practices, presented by Monique Haaskensen, PhD and Vanessa Pittet, PhD from Contango Strategies.

Wetland workshop by Contango

Treatment Wetland Workshop by Conatango Strategies

On September 19th, a field tour of the Glencore Resources closed Brenda Mine,  was held to view the reclaimed tailings dam (note the reclaimed dam embankment can be observed on Highway 97C – Okanagan Connector) where the biodiversity measures on the beach were highlighted, along with later stops to check out the reclaimed waste rock dumps and the water treatment plant, which delivers clean water to the Peachland area.

Ungulate browse on the re-vegetated Brenda tailings dam

Ungulate browse on the re-vegetated Brenda tailings dam (photo credit D. Polster)


Biodiversity stop with Bearfoot Resources (the Peats on hand to describe the work)

Biodiversity stop with Bearfoot Resources (Al and Alison Peatt on hand to describe the work)

Thereafter, on September 20 and 21st the conference commenced with presentations of (21) technical papers (available on UBC cIRCLE with more information on our publications page), and with (11) exhibitors available to discuss their services and products (see below for list and contacts).

Attendance was excellent with  (160) delegates, (11) sponsored First Nation participants, (3) Grade 12 science and biology teachers from the West Kelowna school district and (5) post secondary student co-chairs/helpers, three of which were awarded a scholarship this year.

We would like to thank our many Sponsors without which we could not provide these annual conferences. They include: at the Gold level:  Glencore who also hosted the field tour, lunch and dinner; our Silver Sponsors;  Teck, KGHM, Geoscience BC, (banquet) MineralsEd, (teacher participation) and IEG (Welcome reception); our Bronze sponsors: Association for Mineral Exploration BC; Taseko (banquet), Contango Strategies (First Nation attendance) and DWB Consulting Services (banquet) and our Friends of the the TRCR sponsors; Barrick, BGC Engineering, EDI, Hatfield, Knight Piesold,(general);  Stantec (banquet entertainment) and O’Kane Consultants Inc. (general). Nats Nursery also provided the banquet decor centerpieces with native plants that were offered to table winners and David Sahlstrom photographed the banquet event and award winners. A huge thank you goes out to the Cantrav Events team (Missy Preston and others) who helped organized the conference, registration and venue with professional aplomb.

Listing of the exhibitors and their contacts/websites, and the First Nation attendees, Panel member participants and Secondary school teacher attendees that were provided with sponsored registration are found below.

Supplier and Consultant Exhibitors: 2016 Exhibitors (coming soon).

First Nation and Community Registrations: 2016 sponsored registrations

40th Annual Reclamation Symposium Banquet

On September 20th, an evening of great food, camaraderie, annual student scholarships, reclamation awards recognition,  and networking of many of the alumni from the last 40 years of TRCR was held at the Annual Awards banquet in the Penticton Lakeside Convention Centre and Hotel.

During the evening proceedings, Jonathan Buchanan chaired the event (a definite ham) noting the TRCR Committee members that were in attendance, along with Alumni that had been invited for the 40th Anniversary event noting the ex-officials from the Ministry of Energy and Mines, such as John Errington and Art and Ruth O’Bryan, and the most recent alumni, Kim Bittman who had been a committee member for the last thirty years representing both Coal and Metal mines. She was thanked for her long-lived membership with a jade bear trophy keepsake.

Kim Bittman - 30 year alumni on TRCR

Jonathan Buchanan presenting Kim Bittman with a 30 year TRCR alumni gift

During the banquet, Wendy Gardner from the Thompson Rivers University presented the Jake McDonald Scholarships for Mine Reclamation to three deserving students. They are  Katie McMahen who is in the Master of Science program in the Faculty of Forestry at UBC, Marika Green who is at TRU in the Bachelor of Natural Resource Science program; and Paul Antonelli who is in the Masters of Science in Environmental Science program at TRU. For more information on their work, go to scholarships.

Scholarship winners: L-R Elaine Elaine McKnight, Deputy Minister of BC MEM, Wendy Gardner of TRU and students, Katie McMahon , Marika and Paul Antonelli

Scholarship winners: L-R Elaine McKnight, Deputy Minister of BC MEM, Wendy Gardner of TRU and students, Katie McMahen , Marika Green and Paul Antonelli.

Kim Bellefontaine, Manager of Environmental Geoscience and Permitting with the British Columbia Ministry of Energy and Mines was on hand to present the annual reclamation awards beginning with a recap of the 2014 awards that were presented in Vancouver on December 2, 2015.

She reported that last year, the award for outstanding achievement for reclamation at a metal mine was presented to Huckleberry Mines Ltd. for their work to remediate a fishway in Creek M near the Huckleberry Mine.


Mark Wong, Huckleberry Mines

Marke Wong of Huckleberry Mines

The keeper trophy for the safe return of the Jake McDonald Jade award from 2014 was presented to Barry McLean with Valley Gravel Sales Ltd. for work on the Valley Gravel Mine.

Barry McLean (Chief Financial Officer) with Valley Gravel Sales Ltd.

Barry McLean (Chief Financial Officer) with Valley Gravel Sales Ltd. accepting the keeper trophy

On behalf of the Technical and Research Committee on Reclamation, Kim indicated it was her pleasure to announce that the recipient of the 2015 British Columbia Jake McDonald Mine Reclamation Award is Thompson Creek Metals Company Inc. for outstanding reclamation achievements at the Mt. Milligan Mine.

Accepting Award for Mount Milligan L-R Elaine , Daphne, Wes Chingee and Kim Bellefontaine

Accepting the Jade Award for Mount Milligan (L-R) Elaine McKnight, DM of BC MEM, Daphne Hall (Environmental Advisor for Mt. Milligan), Wes Chingee (Environmental Technician and member of the McLeod Lake Indian Band), Kim Bellefontaine.

The work that inspired this nomination and receipt of the award for Thompson Creek Metals Company, Mount Milligan mine are depicted in the following photographs:


Overwintering pond with raptor nesting enhancement (2015)

Lower rainbow pond: fish-use

Lower rainbow pond: fish-use

See our Awards page for more information on the scholarship winners and the full reclamation awards report and presentation.

The 2016 TRCR Committee and TRCR Alumni are shown here:

TRCR Committee and Alumni

TRCR Committee and Alumni

(L-R) TRCR Committee and Alumni:   Wendy Gardner, Thompson Rivers University; Jonathan Buchanan, AMEBC and 2015-2016 Chair of the TRCR; Kim Bellefontaine, Ministry of Energy and Mines, Art O’Brien, TRCR Alumni; Kim Bittman, TRCR Alumni; Ben Chalmers, Mining Association of Canada, Tania Demchuk, Ministry of Energy and Mines and 2015-2016 Vice Chair of the TRCR, John Errington, TRCR Alumni; Bill Price, Natural Resources Canada; Angela Waterman, 40th Anniversary Chair; and Jaimie Dickson, Highland Valley Copper .

Missing: Dirk VanZyl, UBC; Ryan Todd, New Gold; Warn Franklin, Teck Coal and incoming 2016-2017 TRCR Vice Chair; Nicole Pesonen, Nystar Mining; Allan Gibson, Ministry of Environment, and Jennifer McConnachie, Ministry of Energy and Mines.