Report: 26th Annual Mine Reclamation Awardsby TRCR on Sep 15, 2002 • 5:44 pm Leave a Comment
SUMMARY/REPORT OF THE AWARDS SUBCOMMITTEE
2002 Presentation of the 2001 Mine Reclamation Awards
2002 Mine Reclamation Awards Presented at the 26th Annual Mine Reclamation Symposium
September 11, 2002, Kamloops, British Columbia.
Twenty-six years ago, the British Columbia Technical and Research Committee on Reclamation established a Reclamation Award to recognize outstanding achievement in mine reclamation in British Columbia. In addition to this major award, citations are given to recognize merit in mining reclamation.
The work on which the awards are based may be major or minor in extent, and may be the result of a group or a single person’s activities. These awards may recognize:
- quality in research,
- innovation in techniques,
- quality of work undertaken,
- extent of land reclaimed, or
- work of a high standard that has been conducted over a number of years.
In 2002, the Committee received a total of 11 nominations in 6 categories. At the prestigious Annual Banquet and Awards ceremony on September 11 in Dawson Creek BC, the reclamation community paid tribute to the newest recipients of these reclamation honours.
PREVIOUS YEAR’S WINNER
Before the presentation of the 2002 Citations and Annual BC Jake McDonald Mine Reclamation Award, the annual tradition of presenting a “keeper trophy” to the previous years’ recipient was undertaken. This ensures the safe return of the highly prized “jade trophy”.
The 2001 keeper trophy was given to Huckleberry Mines Limited for their work at the Huckleberry Mine property near Houston and was accepted by Doug Johnson.
2001 METAL MINING CITATION
The Citation for outstanding achievement for reclamation at a Metal Mine was awarded to Northgate Exploration Inc. for their exceptional reclamation efforts at the Kemess Mine.
The Kemess Mine is located in remote, mountainous terrain, 300 kilometres northwest of Prince George. The mine has operated since 1998 as an open pit gold and copper mining operation. Northgate Exploration acquired this mine when the initial mine owner, Royal Oak Resources, went into receivership in 1999.
The citation recognizes outstanding work in the areas of fisheries habitat enhancement and reclamation of their 385 kilometre power line.
As part of the environmental approval of the Kemess mine, Royal Oak agreed to undertake a program of habitat replacement and enhancement, to replace Bull Trout habitat lost by constructing the tailings storage facility over the upper reaches of South Kemess Creek. When Northgate acquired the mine, none of this work had been completed and they proceeded to undertake the program. The program involved the relocation of fish, as well as removal of fish barriers and construction of fishways to create Bull Trout spawning and rearing habitat. Northgate has also conducted an ongoing detailed monitoring program to ascertain the success of their programs.
The second part of the citation recognizes an excellent reclamation program carried out from 1999 to 2001 on non-essential access roads along the 380 kilometre transmission line which provides power to the mine. Northgate methodically deactivated and reclaimed access roads. Work included removal of culverts, skid bridges as well as erosion control through revegetation and recontouring of road cuts.
2001 COAL MINING CITATION
The Citation for outstanding achievement for reclamation at a Coal Mine was awarded to Bullmoose Operating Corporation, a subsidiary of Teck Cominco Ltd.
The citation recognizes outstanding work in the areas of materials handling related to sloping, contouring and revegetation, all of which has been directed at achieving wildlife habitat. Bullmoose coal mine was recognized for coordinating materials handling during the construction and reclamation of waste rock dumps to achieve upper dump face slopes of 2:1 and lower faces of 2.5:1 and maintaining a 50 meter maximum dump height. All of this work has created a diverse and relatively natural final landscape for wildlife use.
The Bullmoose Mine was visited on tour during the week and many had already observed the excellent work.
2001 SAND AND GRAVEL CITATION
The Citation for outstanding achievement for reclamation at a Sand and Gravel operation was awarded to Hub City Paving for their work at their Nanaimo Lakes Road Pit.
The pit occupies a 180 hectare site along the north shore of the Nanaimo River which has been in operation since 1965. In 1995, Hub City initiated a reclamation program and has now fully reclaimed over 16 hectares and by the end of 2002 will have reclaimed all inactive pit areas. Reclamation work has included re-grading to a natural landscape, use of wash plant sludge as a growth medium, successional seeding from fall rye, to clover and finally to conifers. Canada geese, deer, cougars and beavers are now using reclaimed areas.
Finally, Hub City has been actively involved in the promotion of the aggregate industry and has arranged bus tours of their operation for schools and other community organizations, showing that aggregate mining is a temporary use of the land.
2001 MINERAL EXPLORATION CITATION
The Citation for outstanding achievement for reclamation at a Mineral Exploration site was awarded to Newhawk Gold Mines Ltd. for their work on the Hawk property.
During September 2001, Newhawk completed final reclamation on the Hawk Project located within the former Mount Edziza Recreation Area. Reclamation involved construction and placement of a large steel adit barrier on the old portal. This structure was flown to the site in pieces using a helicopter from Dease Lake, and then welded into place to prevent human access into the portal. The barrier was designed so that it was accessible to bats.
Newhawk Gold Mines Ltd. carried out an excellent program and has demonstrated a willingness to consider other values.
2001 ANNUAL BC JAKE MCDONALD MINE RECLAMATION AWARD
The Awards Committee was pleased to announce that the recipient of the 2001 British Columbia Jake McDonald Mine Reclamation Award was Teck Cominco Metals Ltd., for its excellent reclamation and remediation work at the Bluebell Mine.
The Bluebell Mine is located at Riondel on the shore of Kootenay Lake. The mine has had a long history starting in 1882. Two concentrators were operated at Bluebell from 1907 to 1927 and from 1952 to closure in 1971. It is safe to say that this mine was not always operated under present day environmental standards. Following closure in 1971 the decommissioning and closure work was carried out to the satisfaction of the Ministry of Energy and Mines.
In 1997, on its own initiative, Teck Cominco assessed the site and developed a remedial action plan to improve the environmental and human health and safety aspects of the mine. Of particular concern were metal contaminated soils from ore and concentrate lying on land and in Kootenay Lake. Also, hydrocarbon contamination and unsafe mine openings required remediation. The bulk of the plan has now been completed although sampling of soils and water continues.
The Bluebell remediation project was unique and challenging in many ways. Foreshore work required installation of primary and secondary silt curtains to contain sediment. The reconstructed Galena Bay beach was engineered to withstand wave action and to prevent redeposition of in-lake sediment. Diversion of a creek during work was required and the creek channel was reconstructed. Hydrocarbon contaminated materials were excavated and remediated on site. Many historic mine openings were identified, fenced and sealed. Finally, an aquatic assessment of metals bioavailability and toxicity in Galena Bay was carried out.
Throughout the reclamation project, Teck Cominco worked cooperatively with provincial and federal agencies and the people of Riondel. This was a very challenging project and Teck Cominco should be applauded for their diligence and innovative work.
2002 TRCR Members
The B.C. Technical and Research Committee on Reclamation is comprised of representatives from the mining industry, the academic world and BC Government. The picture below depicts those members present at the 2002 Mine Reclamation Symposium.