British Columbia Mine Reclamation Symposium

The use of CIS in environmental planning Dixon, Craig; Malis, Alison


Coalmine reclamation is a major component of mine planning. Reclamation planning of a mine starts at the inventory phase, where biophysical data from pre-disturbance surveys must be collected. Much of this data can be collected from satellite imagery, digital orthophotos, topographic maps, ground data collection as well as existing digital data provided by the related Provincial and Federal Government Ministries. Once this data is collected all of the data can utilized in a Geographic Information System to map the data as well as relate the database information to the spatial data and use this as the base for recording and analyzing pre-disturbance levels, biophysical information, reclamation objectives, monitoring successes, current status of the disturbed areas and to predict future responses. The use of CIS in reclamation planning allows for quick, accurate, and precise management of data. CIS allows quicker and more convenient summaries of quantifiable data thus improving efficiency in appraising present plans to determine if they will meet with regulations and required reclamation standards (e.g. required amount of wildlife habitat to be replaced, areas, distances, etc.) The process of mining is not a single disturbance event; it encompasses an on-going disturbance of land necessitating the use of an on-going management. Updates to a CIS database can be accomplished quickly and accurately. Multiple scenario modelling can be undertaken by making small changes to the CIS model (e.g. a CIS model allows manipulation of data and what-if scenarios quicker, cheaper, and with less environmental disturbance than trials on real land). The ability to run predictive scenarios will also make it possible to plan ahead which is the most pro-active technique that can be done. Modelling can help support theories or plans for reclamation work before the work has actually started on the reclamation - i.e. an actual working model of a proposed reclamation plan will be accepted by government and public much easier than a plan that has only literature to back it up. A considerable reduction in reclamation costs may be noticed from enhanced pre-planning of reclamation and decreased uncertainty in the planning procedure.

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