British Columbia Mine Reclamation Symposium

Update on the reclamation of the Yankee Girl Tailings site, Ymir, B.C. Tinholt, M.; Sinnett, G.; Bullock, Christopher Mark; Schneider, Daniel; Stewart, Gregg G. (Gregg Gordon), 1961-


The Yankee Girl Tailings site is comprised of mineral ore process tailings that were placed adjacent to the Salmo River near Ymir BC. Environmental assessment work was initiated in 2004 by the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands to address an Inspector’s Direction issued by Fisheries and Oceans Canada. Metal contamination was identified that presented potential risks to human health and the environment. The results, along with conceptual remediation options, were presented at a series of public meetings from 2004 to 2007. A preferred remedial design was selected and construction initiated in September 2007. The remedial activities included consolidating reactive and non-reactive materials under a bentonite clay amended dry cover and constructing a passive treatment system (i.e. engineered wetland bioreactor) to polish groundwater seepage. To protect the site from erosion and to compensate for lost habitat, erosion control barriers were installed, including bio-engineered fish habitat structures. Final revegetation of the site was undertaken in June 2009. Added value was found by incorporating the community’s desires for a final land use through contouring the repository into an amphitheater and incorporating tree islands to mimic a ‘park-like’ setting. Local community members participated in the site revegetation to encourage stewardship of the site.

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