British Columbia Mine Reclamation Symposium

Seven years of research on reclamation using biosolids at Highland Valley Copper Straker, Justin; Hamaguchi, Bob A.; Jones, Carol Elizabeth, 1953-; Freberg, Mark


A research program was initiated at the Highland Valley Copper mine near Logan Lake, B.C. in 1996 to test application of de-watered sludge from municipal wastewater treatment plants (biosolids) as a potential reclamation treatment and to assess environmental effects. Control treatments were included in the study design to compare biosolids application with standard reclamation treatments using annual application of chemical fertilizers during the first four to five years of vegetation establishment. The biosolids research program has included monitoring to assess changes to soil, soil water and vegetation chemistry, and effects on vegetation cover and biomass production on the treated sites. This paper presents the results to date, including findings on element mobility following biosolids application, and effects on vegetation chemistry and soil nutrient capital. The potential benefits and limitations of biosolids application in Highland Valley Copper's reclamation programs are summarized.

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