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British Columbia Mine Reclamation Symposium

BC Crown Contaminated Sites Program remediation of the historic mine tailings at Two Mile Creek, near Hazelton, BC Runnells, Joanna; Stewart, Gregg G. (Gregg Gordon), 1961-

Abstract

Mine tailings were deposited in Two Mile Creek from mining operations in the 1910s and 1920s. Preliminary investigations in 2006 found elevated metals concentrations in tailings, sediment and surface water. Two Mile Creek was observed flowing over areas of exposed tailings, eroding them into the creek. The creek is a source of drinking water for local communities and is designated as a community watershed. Although no exceedances of dissolved metals were identified, management of downstream ecological and human health risks associated with the tailings was necessary. Tailings were removed from the floodplain and placed into an upland quarry and covered with an engineered cover. Project challenges included ensuring there were no negative impacts on water quality during and after construction. A temporary drinking water by-pass pipe to the downstream water treatment plant and a temporary ditch to divert Two Mile Creek were used during construction. A higher-than-expected volume of tailings required design modifications during construction. Reclamation also involved re-channelling Two Mile Creek and the installation of a new culvert under Nine Mile Mountain Road. Water quality monitoring is ongoing.

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