A new approach to reclamation assessment for mine closure Freilinger, Stefanie; Sparrow, Ron; Trace Associates Inc.
Reclamation assessments on mine sites, to determine equivalent land capability and to meet the regulatory requirements, are often reliant on large amounts of data collected throughout the growing season and often over several years. These types of assessments can be demanding of resources for both the consultant and the client. Trace Associates Inc. (Trace) collaborated with a client to develop and implement a Reclamation Assessment Protocol to effectively assess reclamation success using fewer resources, while meeting technical regulatory requirements for approval and closure. The purpose of the Reclamation Assessment Protocol was to develop specific, measurable targets that could then be applied to reclaimed areas to determine if equivalent land capability had been achieved and reduce the need for intensive sampling across the entire mine site. The protocol was developed using existing sampling methods and criteria already accepted by regulators. These existing methods were then modified to meet the land use of the selected mine site. By basing the protocol methodology on rigorous statistics and key parameters (vegetation and soil depths), the protocol can be applied to various end land uses and ecosites. This paper provides the methods used and presents an assessment protocol that is simple and cost effective to apply and can be used to support both mine closure and reclamation sign-off.
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