British Columbia Mine Reclamation Symposium

Challenges and solutions to meeting Indigenous and stakeholder mine closure objectives in a remote, high alpine environment Bianchin, Mario; Miller, Elizabeth Fillatre; Gladu, Jeremiah; Wall, Dean


The effective decommissioning and remediation of subsurface contamination (soil and groundwater) at former remote mine sites in British Columbia’s Northwest is challenging mainly due to seasonal and locational site access limitations. A Site Reclamation Execution Plan was developed to identify the best approach to decommissioning and remediation of the site that included innovative site-specific low-energy remedial methods coupled with site-specific risk-based remedial targets and on-site treatment/disposal. The site reclamation execution plan is supported by site investigations conducted from 2017 to 2019 to characterize potential contamination. The Johnny Mountain Mine was an underground gold mine located in traditional Tahltan Territory. Core components included underground workings, tailings storage facility, fuel storage and ancillary fuel distribution facilities, the air strip and the mill building. The approved reclamation plan included designing and constructing the upgrade of the existing landfill to hold non-hazardous demolition waste from the former structures, including historic burial sites, cleaned fuel tanks and the mill building. Shallow fuel-impacted soil in and around the fuel storage and distribution facilities is being actively remediated on site while any deeper soil and groundwater contamination will follow a site-specific risk based remedial approach. Reclamation of the site is possible with the collaborative support of the Tahltan Nation.

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