The British Columbia Technical and Research Committee on Reclamation (TRCR) originated in the early 1970′s, in response to a demonstrated need in the province BC for greater government-industry communications in the area of environmental protection and reclamation associated with mining.
Membership is drawn from the corporate sector (several of the operating mines are represented); the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources (MEMPR); the Ministry of Environment (MOE); CanmetMINING; the Mining Association of British Columbia (MABC), the Association of Mineral Exploration BC and British Columbia universities and colleges. The Committee meets four or five times a year to discuss matters of joint concern and interest, exchange experience, plan Symposium activities and prioritize research needs.
TRCR Symposia and Studies
Since 1977, the TRCR has annually sponsored the British Columbia Mine Reclamation Symposium to foster the exchange of information and ideas on reclamation. Proceedings, published concurrently with the symposia, are a valuable source for anyone interested in this field.
In addition to the annual symposium dealing with the entire spectrum of reclamation issues, the TRCR also sponsors symposia and studies focusing on single issues. For example, in 1985 the Committee sponsored a preliminary study of the practice of re-sloping waste dump faces, with support from the Canada-British Columbia Mineral Development Agreement.
A second study, with support from the Coal Association of Canada, focused on materials handling and cost.
In 1986, the Committee sponsored an International Rock Drain Symposium which drew attendance from the United States, France, Australia and the Soviet Union, again with support from the Canada-British Columbia Mineral Development Agreement.
In 1990, the Committee established a special project to improve the environmental management of cyanide and in July 1992 published a “Technical Guide for the Environmental Management of Cyanide in Mining”. As a follow-up, the TRCR, in cooperation with MEM, hosted the Cyanide Gold Heap Leach Workshop in Vancouver, May 27 and 28, 1995. The Mine Environment Neutral Drainage (MEND) amalgamated with the TRCR to strengthen the Committee’s scope to include all aspects of mine development and reclamation and holds a workshop in December of every year on ML/ARD.
In 1999, the TRCR co-sponsored a workshop on molybdenum held in conjunction with the symposium in Kamloops, B.C. The TRCR is also affiliated with the Canadian Land Reclamation Association (CLRA) and has co-hosted symposia on several occasions, including 2002 in Dawson Creek and 2010 in Courtenay.
Promoting Excellence and Participation
To promote excellence in reclamation, the Committee annually presents the British Columbia Mine Reclamation Award and several citations for excellence in mine reclamation. Citations are provided for the reclamation of exploration sites, metal mines, coal mines, placer operations, sand and gravel operations, industrial mineral operations and special citations for mine reclamation projects.
To encourage student participation in reclamation-related fields, the committee awards the Jake McDonald Memorial Scholarship, which is given to support a student (or students) in a scientific field related to reclamation. This scholarship was established in honour of Jake McDonald, former Senior Reclamation Inspector in the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources. The TRCR also provides a $500 award to the Provincial Science Fairs Program.