British Columbia Mine Reclamation Symposium

A community-based approach to End Land Use planning at Highland Valley Copper Melaschenko, N.; Dickson, J.; Berg, K.; Straker, J.


The 2016 Highland Valley Copper (HVC) End Land Use Plan was developed as a collaboration between HVC and Nlaka’pamux communities. The two main goals of the plan were: 1) to incorporate input from Nlaka’pamux people about landscape reclamation goals, and 2) to identify potential land uses that the postclosure landscape is capable of providing and that are important to the Nlaka’pamux community. Nlaka’pamux communities were involved in the planning process through a number of collaborative workshops. The information shared was incorporated into a technical mapping process to identify possible post-closure ecosystems. This mapping involved first creating a map from aerial photographs from the 1950s to determine the biogeoclimatic ecosystems that existed prior to mining. Post-closure ecosystem maps were then created based on Nlaka’pamux input and constrained by the range of potential ecosystems that can exist on the mine site after closure. Projected post-closure ecosystems were estimated based on (i) necessary depths and available volumes of reclamation-cover materials, and (ii) altered topography and changes to the ability of surficial materials to store water due to mining activity. Potential land uses were then identified. A plain-language photobook was completed in addition to a technical report to communicate project results to participating communities.

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