42nd Annual Mine Reclamation Symposium:
2019 A Great Success

Download the 20190923-TRCR Press Release News Release with this key quote from the 2019 Chair, Sean Beswick of Teck Resources:

Sean Beswick, 2019 Chair of the TRCR at Symposium opening

“The British Columbia Technical and Research Committee on Reclamation (TRCR) presented the Jake McDonald Annual Mine Reclamation Award and Metal Mining Award at the BC TRCR and Canadian Land Reclamation Association joint conference in Kimberley, BC on September 18, 2019. ” says Sean Beswick, 2019 chair of the TRCR.

This year, the Jake McDonald Annual Mine Reclamation Award was presented to Barrick Gold Inc. for enhanced reclamation of a tailings storage facility at the historic Giant Nickel mine ten kilometres north of Hope, BC. “Barrick is recognized for taking the initiative to conduct works to improve the reclamation and closure outcomes to meet current mine reclamation standards as well as their own corporate standards,” notes Brenda Bailey, member of the TRCR Awards Subcommittee. “The company’s approach of engaging with local user groups, involving Indigenous community members in the activities, and utilizing local contractors to conduct the work is admirable. This project demonstrates that reclamation of older, closed mine sites can be enhanced to meet modern standards and best available technologies, to meet regulatory requirements and the social, environmental, and economic needs of the surrounding communities.”

Allison Brown, representing Barrick Gold in BC was not able to attend the Symposium but will receive the Jade award very soon.

The Metal Mining Award was presented to the Crown Contaminated Sites Program of the BC Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development and AECOM Canada Ltd. for their installation of a water treatment system at the historic Atlin Ruffner mine site, located 28 kilometres northeast of Atlin, BC. This project is recognized “on the merit of conducting detailed closure planning, including comprehensive water quality and water balance modelling, and consideration of the site-specific limiting factors to reclamation,” notes Bailey. “Between the installation of the passive water treatment system and previous reclamation work done at the site, the area can now be used safety by wildlife and the public.”

Metal Mine Reclamation Award (l-r) Mernoush Javadi and Ryan Mills, AECOM; Joanna Runnells, BC Ministry of Forest, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development; Brenda Bailey, BC TRCR Awards Subcommittee Chair

In addition, Steve Hilts, Teck Resources Limited, received the Jade keeper award for safe return of the Jake McDonald Annual Mine Reclamation Award that was awarded to Teck Highland Valley Copper Partnership in 2018.

Steve Hilts accepting keeper award from Brenda Bailey, TRCR Award Subcommittee

Conference Highlights

The 2019 TRCR Mine Reclamation Symposium was held jointly with the Canada Land Reclamation Association at the Kimberley Conference Centre in Kimberley, BC from September 16 to September 19th, 2019.

The Symposium included an excellent 4 day program commencing on the 16th with a half-day Workshop on Landform Design for Sustainable Mine Reclamation. The workshop was presented by Gord McKenna of Mckenna Geotechnical Inc.; June Pollard from Pollard Consulting and Justin Straker of Integral Ecology Group. The workshop was a multi-disciplinary short course aimed at practitioners, regulators, researchers, and anyone interested in being part of the design of mining landforms and landscapes. Participants left with a good overview of the landform design and construction process, mining materials, setting design goals /objectives / criteria, and multidisciplinary design methods to realize these commitments reliably and economically.

Then on the 17th, a full day field tour of the Teck Sullivan Mine was offered to participants with a dinner at the Bootleg Gap Golf Course.

The former Sullivan mine in Kimberley, British Columbia, was once a major producer of zinc, lead and silver. After operating for nearly 100 years, it is now an example of a successful mine closure — a process which included collaboration between Teck and the local community of Kimberley to create lasting benefits.

Reclamation of the site included resloping and covering approximately 1,100 hectares of mine disturbed areas.  Although reclamation activities were completed by 2010, the site continues to operate a high density sludge plant to treat ARD impacted water, evaluate and improve the seepage water collection system, enhance reclaimed areas, and continue to find ways to further post-closure land uses.  For example, through a collaborative partnership with the City of Kimberley, a 1.05 megawatt community solar power plant was completed and began operating in 2015 on reclaimed land.

Reclaimed land at Sullivan Mine: note debris piles for wildlife habitat.

TRCR Underground railway tour

Tour group viewing reclamation at Sullivan Mine.

Then on September 18th and 19th the technical paper conference commenced with 21 presentations of technical papers (available on UBC cIRCLE with more information on our publications page), and with (15) exhibitors available to discuss their services and products.

Attendance was excellent with  (180) delegates, (9) sponsored First Nation participants, and (4) post secondary student co-chairs/helpers.

We would like to thank our many Sponsors without which we could not provide these annual conferences. This year they include: at the Gold level: RW Contracting LtdLotic Environmental, and Teck; our Silver Sponsors; Enviro-Ex Contracting LtdWood PLCParagon Soil: our Bronze sponsors: ALS; Trace Associates; RBW Waste ServicesPremier Pacific Seeds; Maven Water and Environment; IEGMcKenna GeotechnicalPRTBarr Engineering, and Stantec. Friends of TRCR include: Trace Associates; DST Consulting EngineersAlexco EnvironmentalMarsland EnvironmentalMcKenna Geotechnical, and Tipi Mountain Native Plants for the centerpieces.

A huge thank you goes out to the Aevias Events team (Missy Preston, Jacynta Mitchell, Martina Waldritch and others) who helped organize the field tour, conference, registration and venue with professional aplomb. We also appreciated the many bus and shuttle drivers that were provided throughout the conference.

Another major thank you also goes out to Gord McKenna, June Pollard and Justin Straker for the Monday Workshop and to Teck Resources for the Field tour of the Sullivan Mine and Kimberley Underground Railway for the underground tour.

Listing of the exhibitors and their websites, and the First Nation attendees that were provided with sponsored registration are found below.

Supplier and Consultant Exhibitors: Exhibitor List with websites

First Nation and Community Registrations:   First Nations Registrants

42nd Annual Reclamation Symposium Banquet

On September 18th, an evening of great food, camaraderie, annual student scholarships, reclamation awards recognition, (see above)  and networking of attendees was held at the Annual Awards banquet in the Kimberley Conference Centre.

During the evening proceedings, Sean Beswick chaired the event noting the TRCR Committee members that were in attendance, and introduced the First Nation speaker of Jim Clarricoates – Cultural Resource Liaison for the Lands and Resources Sector of the Ktunaxa. Thereafter, the Mayor of Kimberley, Don McCormick spoke about the impacts of mine closures on community.

During the banquet, Wendy Gardner, TRCR Scholarship Chair from the Thompson Rivers University (TRU) presented the 2019 Jake McDonald Scholarships for Mine Reclamation to four deserving post secondary students. In honour of Jake McDonald, former Senior Reclamation Inspector in the British Columbia Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources, the Technical and Research Committee on Reclamation offers a total of $2,000 in scholarships to students registered at a university (undergraduate or graduate) or college in the province of British Columbia. Jake McDonald was largely responsible for the formation of the Technical and Research Committee on Reclamation. This committee significantly improved government – industry – academic communications in the areas of environmental protection and reclamation in mining. The applying student must be involved in mine reclamation, pollution prevention, environmentally sound mine planning, or any aspect of mine land rehabilitation.

 Jake MacDonald Memorial Scholarship Recipients 2019

Name Post Secondary Institution/Program

Reclamation Relevance

Bilawal Soomro UBC, Mine Engineering, Undergraduate student year 3-4
  • Involved in a research project to investigate the ability of mine tailings to directly capture CO2
Chantalle Gervan TRU, MSc in Environmental Science Program
  • MSc project on invertebrate response to mine reclamation (reclamation age and various amendments)
Ashley Fischer TRU, MSc in Environmental Science Program
  • MSc project focuses on investigating topsoil stockpiles and native soil inoculations
Brandon Williams TRU, MSc in Environmental Science Program
  • MSc project studying the use of prescribed burns as a reclamation tool for on mine sites


2019 student scholarship winners (l-r) Wendy Gardner, TRCR, Ashley Fischer; Chantelle Gervan; Brandon Williams, all from Thompson Rivers University.

Student Volunteers at the Symposium were Chantalle Gervan (TRU, MSc), Ashley Fischer (TRU, MSc), Brandon Williams (TRU, MSc) and Lina Xie (UBC, Mine Engineer).

For more information on their work, go to scholarships.

Bill Price, NRCan then presented the Tony Milligan Book Award for Best Paper in the previous year (2018) to Natalie Melaschenko and Tamlyn Botel who represented the Citxw Nlaka’pamux Assembly for “A community-based approach to End Land Use planning at Highland Valley Copper” by authors of Melaschenko, N.; Dickson, J.; Berg, K.; Straker, J. 2018

Natalie Melaschenko accepting 2018 most practical paper from Bill Price, NRCan

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