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 mining industry and corporate sector (several of the operating mines are represented); the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources (EMPR); the Ministry of Environment (MOE); CanmetMINING; the Mining Association of British Columbia (MABC), the Mining Association of Canada, the Association of Mineral Exploration BC and British Columbia universities and colleges such as UBC, UNBC and TRU. The Committee meets monthly 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. In 1999, the TRCR co-sponsored a workshop on molybdenum held in conjunction with the symposium in Kamloops, B.C.
The federal Mine Environment Neutral Drainage (MEND) collaborated with the TRCR to strengthen the Committee’s scope to include all aspects of mine development and reclamation, each year MEND holds a workshop in December on metal leaching and acid rock drainage topics with their papers posted here.
The TRCR is also affiliated with the Canadian Land Reclamation Association (CLRA) and has co-hosted symposia with them on several occasions, including 2002 in Dawson Creek, 2010 in Courtenay and 2019 in Kimberley, BC.
In 2011, the TRCR co-sponsored a world class Mine Closure Conference with the Australian Centre for Geomechanics (ACG) held in Lake Louise, Alberta with over 600 delegates from 30 countries. A posting is found on this website at this page.
And again in 2015, the TRCR co-sponsored the International Conference on Mine Closure, founded by the Australian Centre for Geomechanics (ACG) and organized by InfoMine in partnership with UBC and the BCTRCR with over 450 delegates from over 23 countries. A posting is found for the successful 2015 event here.
In 2016, the 40th Anniversary of the TRCR was held in Penticton, BC and is highlighted here.
In 2017, for the first time ever, the annual event had to be cancelled due to the BC Wild Fires that affected the proposed venue in Williams Lake, BC. The event was postponed and was held in Williams Lake in 2018.
When COVID-19 hit us, the TRCR completed an unprecedented virtual workshop and full day event of technical papers, virtual field trips and awards in 2020.
Promoting Excellence and Participation
To promote excellence in reclamation, the Committee annually presents the British Columbia Mine Reclamation Award and several category awards for excellence in mine reclamation. The other awards are provided in the categories of exploration programs, metal mines, coal mines, placer operations, sand and gravel operations, industrial mineral operations and special citations for mine reclamation projects.
To encourage First Nation and Community participation, the TRCR provides a number of free registrations for members of those communities who are currently involved with operating mines or new mines in environmental assessment or expansion processes.
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.