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British Columbia Mine Reclamation Symposium

Factors influencing density and composition of vegetative cover on waste rock sites at Highland Valley Copper Bloodgood, Mary Anne, 1960-; Jones, Carol Elizabeth, 1953-; Gizikoff, Katherine G.

Abstract

Highland Valley Copper is a large porphyry copper-molybdenum mine located in the southern interior of British Columbia. Field observations indicate that the vegetative cover supported on reclaimed sites is often variable, despite apparent similar growing conditions. A field program was undertaken at Highland Valley Copper to evaluate surface and subsurface factors that may influence the success of vegetation cover development on reclaimed sites. The program included sites where vegetation was established directly on waste rock material, and sites reclaimed on an overburden cap. The results of the program indicate that material characteristics are especially important for the upper 1 metre of the reclaimed site. The available water storage capacity, influenced by soil depth, coarse fragment content and soil texture is the most important factor that influences the reclamation potential of a site. These findings verify that site preparation activities are critical to the development of successful reclamation sites, and that monitoring to ensure placement of appropriate material on the dump surface will enhance the reclamation potential of sites.

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