British Columbia Mine Reclamation Symposium

Teck's Elkview Operations : visualising an integrated approach to conceptual closure and reclamation planning Harrison, D.; Crockett, D.; Eykamp, L.


Surface mining has the potential to impact both natural and cultural landscapes. Hence, reclamation and closure planning is an integral part of the mine development process — one that presents an opportunity for increasingly effective and sustainable solutions. Reclamation and closure planning, including landscape design, can address post-mine scenarios as they relate to a range of environmental and social objectives. This study examines the role of landscape design and visualisation techniques to support an integrated reclamation planning process that increases landscape performance and better communicates technical information related to post-mine scenarios. Teck’s Elkview operation provides a case study of progressive integrated landscape design and visualisation techniques in closure and reclamation planning. This study examines landscape design efforts that help create more naturalistic landforms and their potential benefits related to environmental management and building strong community relationships. Regulators and stakeholders are placing increasing demands on mining companies to develop post-mining landscapes that demonstrate a more natural appearance. Post-mine landform design can meet this objective while concurrently providing other benefits such as enhanced wildlife habitat. This study explores methods for developing diverse landforms and revegetation patterns that blend with adjacent natural landscape character; these effectively integrate drainage systems to control surface flows, reduce erosion, minimise long-term maintenance, and create micro-topography that supports wetlands and tree, shrub, and forb cover that promotes biodiversity. While the contribution of visual aesthetics to landscape performance is difficult to evaluate, the use of data-driven three-dimensional (3-D) visualisations can support improved public acceptance of post-mine landform and revegetation design options by illustrating design intentions and reclamation strategies. Visualisations play a role in communicating technical project design information, supporting community involvement by identifying interests and priorities, and building awareness and understanding of post-mine reclamation scenarios. Advanced visualisation techniques are able to adapt to changes in project design and play a role much larger than graphic support.

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