British Columbia Mine Reclamation Symposium

Britannia Mine : back to the future-- : remediation progress at Britannia and a bright future as a consequence O’Hara, Gerry; Azevedo, Barry, 1964-; Bordian, Jerry; Clausen, Kirstin


It is over 100 years since the Britannia Mine, located 50 km north of Vancouver, B.C., commenced production of copper ore. Some 33 years after the mine closed it continues to generate an average of around 300 kg/day each of copper and zinc, together with relatively minor amounts of other metals, dissolved in some 5 million cubic metres of acid rock drainage (ARD) each year. Environmental remediation work by the Province of British Columbia was kickstarted in 2001 by the injection of $30 million by the former mine owners. Implementation of the environmental remediation work at the mine stimulated interest in development of the mine property by a B.C.-based developer and, through a well planned and considered approach, resulted in a ‘win-win’ for the both developer and the Province. This has led to an almost completely new infrastructure being developed in the Britannia Beach community, private home ownership, new development lots and the rejuvenation of the town. In addition, this renewed interest in the mine and associated community has contributed to the injection of Federal, Provincial and private funds into restoration of the iconic Mill at the BC Museum of Mining and for the future development of a mining industry interpretive centre.

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