British Columbia Mine Reclamation Symposium

Inco Limited : one hundred years of operation : where do we go from here? Napier, William A.


Inco is celebrating a 100 years of operations. One of the environmental areas we have worked hard at is reclamation and rehabilitation. For example in 1916 Inco's predecessor company, Canadian Copper Company, established its Agricultural Department as a first attempt of reclaiming mining and roasting areas. In keeping with societal changes reclamation concepts, designs, objectives and expectations have changed with each passing decade. This paper highlights some of these milestones. This paper provides a brief review of how the mining industry and, in particular, Inco has managed the evolutionary changes in mine rehabilitation. The paper describes how reclamation planning has become an integrated feature of a Project's economic feasibility study, how progressive reclamation has been incorporated at mining operations and how mine closure techniques are employed and advanced globally. This paper touches on some of the current issues facing a company's reclamation effort. Rationalizing a mine closure in the context of sustainable development is just one of a series of challenges currently being addressed by the mining community. A perspective is provided on other topics such as assessing closure finality i.e. is there ever a truly walk away situation; addressing future technological advances in the wake of current operating practices, and securing financial assurance. The importance of risk management is also discussed. Finally the paper speculates on how reclamation affect constituents can help chart a path forward as Inco enters its second century.

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