British Columbia Mine Reclamation Symposium

Mt. Washington reclamation : a critical review Rennie, Clifford C.


All mine reclamation programs should be under constant critical review in order to have most effective reclamation at minimum cost. Experiments should be identified as experiments. Ineffective reclamation results in negative perceptions of the mining industry's ability to control wastes. This paper critically reviews Mt. Washington reclamation to date, examines alternative solutions and makes recommendations for future control. Mt. Washington Copper Co. Ltd. milled 392,000 tons of 1.16% Cu ore in 1964-67 from two pits and dumped approximately the same amount of waste rock in two main areas. Copper bearing acid water drains from the north pit area into Pyrrhotite Creek which eventually flows into the Tsolum River. Reductions in fish stocks in the Tsolum River have been blamed on the water quality. Reclamation by the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources to date has been a two year program of dump restructuring with clay capping, followed by two seasons of experimental bedrock cleaning and capping tests. To date no substantial improvement has been made in water quality. Alternative solutions such as neutralization in place or downstream will be examined.

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