British Columbia Mine Reclamation Symposium

Contaminated site legislation and mine closure Wilson, Cathy A.; Sandstrom, N.


Environmental protection and restoration during mine closure has for many years been regulated under the Mines Act. The potential currently exists for mine closure to trigger the investigation and remediation requirements of the Contaminated Sites Regulation. In order to minimize or eliminate duplication of effort, the Ministry of Mines, Ministry of Environment, Lands & Parks, and the mining industry are currently working on a harmonized process. In the meantime, Cominco Ltd. is proceeding with the closure of its Kimberley Operations, and has developed strategies for meeting CSR requirements by assessing its future land use plans, and by maximizing the use of data already collected to meet closure requirements under their reclamation permit. The focus of the CSR investigation has been on potential impacts associated with contaminants not otherwise addressed under the reclamation permit. The large mine site was split into smaller areas for the purpose of investigating both soil and water (groundwater and surface water). The concentrations of targeted contaminants were characterized and delineated, and remediation strategies were developed which take full advantage of strategies already in place under the reclamation permit. A gap analysis of the existing hydrogeological model and chemical database has provided a framework for determining the need for additional sampling stations and/or analytical parameters under the current monitoring program.

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