British Columbia Mine Reclamation Symposium

Guiding principles for successful mine reclamation in British Columbia Straker, J.; McConnachie, J.; Baker, T.; McKenna, G.; Antill, T.


BC’s Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources is developing a Reclamation Guide for Mines in British Columbia. The Guide is intended to support mine operators, regulators, Indigenous communities, and other stakeholders to improve the processes and outcomes of mine reclamation. Reclamation design is an ongoing and iterative process that begins before mine development and continues after closure. At any stage of mine life, operators generate the most detailed reclamation plan possible given available information, and document key performance assumptions and uncertainties. With each iteration, informed by the objectives and constraints of the mine plan, operators evaluate all opportunities to improve closure outcomes and achieve reclamation targets/requirements by adjusting design elements and incorporating findings from research and monitoring programs. Over the life of the mine, this design-test-do-report cycle represented by the reclamation plan iterations supports a progression of increasing information, reduced performance uncertainty and increasing confidence in the ability of designs to be successfully implemented and meet closure expectations. The Reclamation Guide focuses on five key principles for reclamation design: defining end land use targets, recognizing contaminant transport mechanisms, engaging with Indigenous communities, understanding ecohydrological interactions, and designing with the end in mind.

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