British Columbia Mine Reclamation Symposium

Quinsam Coal Mine reclamation : 25 years of reclamation experience Polster, D. F. (David Franklin), 1952-; DuBois, Cale


Quinsam Coal Corporation (QCC), wholly owned by Hillsborough Resources Limited, operates the Quinsam Coal Mine, located 25 km west of the city of Campbell River on the east coast of Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. Initially opened as an open pit mine in 1986, a switch from open pit mining to underground mining was made in 1993 with open-pit mining ceasing in 1994. Environmental studies, including reclamation research were initiated at the mine property in the early 1980s. Reclamation test plots were established at one of the bulk sample sites and were used to evaluate various tree re-establishment (reforestation) methods. Reclamation objectives at the mine are directed towards forestry and wildlife habitat production. This paper presents an overview of the reclamation work that has been conducted at the mine as well as a detailed look at the reclamation strategies for the development of productive forests and wildlife habitat. Reclamation test plots established in 1982 have provided 25 years of important long term data on the development of productive forest and habitat sites. Incorporation of nitrogen fixing species, including various agronomic legumes and the native red alder (Alnus rubra (Ait.) Pursh) in the establishment of forests appears to enhance productivity on the reclaimed areas. Comparisons with naturally occurring second growth forests in the mine area are used to demonstrate productive capacity that is as good as or better than that which existed prior to mining.

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