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Teck receives prestigious B.C. mine reclamation award

Teck with award. From L to R: John Snider, Darcy Norman, Mike Wenisch, Rick Sturek, Gary Kuta, Dave Dingreville, Don Caldwell, Sean Beswick and Scott Holmgren. Submitted photo.

Nicholas L. M. Allen

Nov 1, 2023

Teck used a new uphill contouring reclamation technique to protect a creek and forested area as part of ongoing to work to reclaim the Coal Mountain mine site.

The British Columbia Technical and Research Committee on Reclamation (TRCR) presented its annual awards at the TRCR’s 46th annual Mine Reclamation Symposium at Prince George Civic Centre on September 21. 

“The awards are reflective of the innovative and high-quality reclamation activities being conducted throughout the province,” noted Tim Antill, chair of the TRCR’s Awards Subcommittee. “I congratulate the winners and would also like to recognize all of the companies and individuals who are so committed and involved with mine reclamation throughout the province.”

Teck Resources Limited (Teck) was awarded the 2023 Mine Reclamation Award for the Coal Mine Category by the TRCR for its use of an innovative reclamation technique at the Coal Mountain mine site near Sparwood, B.C. which is in the care and maintenance phase.

Guided by a deep commitment to protecting biodiversity and achieving the goal to become nature positive by 2030, Teck used a new uphill contouring reclamation technique to protect a creek and forested area as part of ongoing to work to reclaim the entire former Coal Mountain mine site.

“Teck is proud to be recognized with this award, made possible through the passion and innovation of the reclamation team to find new ways to do even better,” said Robin Sheremeta, senior vice president of coal, “Our people live and work in the Elk Valley and are committed to caring for the land here and we will continue to do all we can to protect the environment for today and for future generations.”

This method required specialized bulldozers and excavators capable of pushing rocks at steep angles of up to 22 degrees in order to reduce soil erosion, ensure geotechnical stability and preserve the integrity of undisturbed areas below the area being reclaimed. Designing and testing the process of uphill contouring required operators to change their practices and make equipment adjustments, and this new method is now part of Teck’s standard reclamation practices. 

Speaking about the significance of the Mine Reclamation Award, Antill said, “The TRCR award is a valuable way to recognize Teck’s commitment to the reclamation of its mine sites. The use of new and innovative reclamation approaches shows what is possible and helps to elevate reclamation practices in the province as a whole.”  

Also at the award ceremony, Tim Poulton and Colleen Hughes were presented with the Tony Milligan Book Award for their paper, “Copper Mountain Mine Wolfe Creek fish habitat offsetting plan effectiveness monitoring” presented at the 45th BC Mine Reclamation Symposium in Kimberley, BC in 2022.

The TRCR also announced its 2023 Jake McDonald Memorial Scholarship recipients. One winner, Angus Ball is pursuing a Master of Science degree in Natural Resources and Environmental Studies at the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC); Lori Clyde, another winner, is a fourth-year student in the Natural Resource Science program at Thompson Rivers University; and the final recipient, Jeremiah DuBovis, is an MSc candidate in Natural Resources and Environmental Studies at UNBC.

Additionally, Angus Ball receives the inaugural poster award at the Mine Reclamation Symposium for presenting onimpacts of soil amendments and microbial inoculum on ryegrass growth in tailings reclamation. Nearly 300 people attended the symposium including more than 220 people in person at the Prince George Civic Centre; attendees ranged from mining industry and Government representatives, University students and representatives of Indigenous nations.

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