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British Columbia Mine Reclamation Symposium

Creating a sustainable cover for a sand tailings dam using biosolids and log yard debris Smyth, Greg


A reclamation approach of utilizing two different types of biosolids from the GVRD and log-yard debris from the Weyerhaeuser lumber mill was tested on the sand tailings impoundment of the Smelter Lake Tailings Storage Facility at the Similco Mine, located near Princeton, BC. The purpose of this research study was targeted at creating a sustainable cover by incorporating these two products together with the top layer of the sand on the impoundment. Four test plots, each approximately 0.25 Ha in size, were created with different mixtures of log-yard debris, dewatered biosolids and land-dried biosolids. Parameters such as moisture content at 15cm and 30cm depth, physical and chemical characterization of the growth medium, vegetative yield, vegetative metal uptake and metal bioavailability of the growth medium were evaluated in an attempt to determine the effectiveness of any particular plot, or some other combination, for the reclamation of the sand impoundment. The principles of sustainable development were integral to this research project, in an effort to reclaim an old tailings facility in the most effect manner.

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