British Columbia Mine Reclamation Symposium

Reclamation research at the surface mine operation of Smoky River Coal Limited Macyk, Terry M


Commissioned in 1971, an on-going reclamation study has been conducted by the Soils Department of the Alberta Research Council on behalf of Smoky River Coal Ltd. at their open-pit mine operations near Grande Cache, Alberta. The main objective of the project was to determine methods of establishing long-term cover that would be in harmony with adjacent, undisturbed areas. The soils occurring in the pre-mining state as well as the soils reconstructed after mining, were characterized. Plot studies to determine the suitability and adaptability of various agronomic and native grasses and legumes were established. Fertilization trials were included. Conifer seedlings and rooted cuttings of deciduous species were planted in the disturbed areas following establishment of a grass and legume cover. Long term results indicated that agronomic species, including alfalfa, will thrive and reproduce, and that tree seedlings will co-exist with the initially established grass and legume cover. The results obtained from the research effort have been successfully transferred to the operational scale.

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