British Columbia Mine Reclamation Symposium

Development of the New Afton Copper Gold Mine on a former minesite in the Agricultural Land Reserve, Kamloops, B.C. Schmitt, Rolf; Ames, Susan Eveline; Stoopnikoff, Dianna


New Gold Inc. is developing the underground New Afton Copper-Gold Mine on the site of the former Afton open pit mine. The Project is located 10 km west of Kamloops, B.C. in the traditional territory of the Secwepemc Nation. Development of the mine involves construction of a new mill and tailings disposal facility separate from the former mining infrastructure. Because the amount of land to be disturbed fell below the EA threshold, the Project was not a reviewable project under the Environmental Assessment Act. Although deemed non-reviewable, the Project’s review and approval as a major mine under the Mines Act required First Nations and public consultation as well as extensive environmental studies. The review process was coordinated through the regional multi-agency South Central Mine Development Review Committee, a committee of government agencies and First Nations who guided the Terms of Reference and consultation process. The property is located in the ALR such that one focus of the reclamation and closure plan is to return the land to an agricultural potential to support agricultural production.

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