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British Columbia Mine Reclamation Symposium

Reclamation research and monitoring at Highland Valley Copper Jones, Carol Elizabeth, 1953-; Freberg, Mark R; Hamaguchi, Bob A.; Straker, Justin


To meet the goals of revegetating land to a self-sustaining state, using appropriate plant species and achieving levels of land productivity not less than existed prior to mining, Highland Valley Copper has undertaken over 20 years of reclamation research and monitoring. The evaluation of the results of these studies has provided important feedback that is used to modify and enhance the reclamation product. Monitoring results have also been used to modify and enhance the reclamation product. Monitoring results have also been used to determine if progress is proceeding toward the desired goals and provide early warning signs of potential problems. Benchmark values have been developed that indicate the need for remedial action and others that indicate the expected trajectory of the revegetation to an acceptable product. Parameters that have been measured for forage areas include species composition, nutrient content and biomass production. On areas planted with trees and shrubs, parameters measured include survival, growth and stocking densities. All of these parameters have been measured systematically across the revegetated areas and over time. Initial assessments of revegetated areas are conducted two years following establishment and a second assessment is conducted three years after the withdrawal of maintenance fertilizer application. Based on the results of this monitoring and other directed research studies, Highland Valley Copper can be shown to meet their revegetation goals and satisfy the land use objectives for the property.

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