This article was provided by the Ontario Mining Association (OMA), an organization that was established in 1920 to represent the mining industry of the province.
Congratulations to Glencore’s Kidd Operations in Timmins for earning the 2014 Tom Peters Memorial Reclamation Award. This environmental honour was presented in Peterborough earlier this month at the seventh annual Ontario Mine Reclamation Symposium and Field Trip, which is jointly organized by the Canadian Land Reclamation Association and the Ontario Mining Association.
David Yaschyshyn, Superintendent of Environment at Kidd Operations, was on hand to accept the trophy. The specific project being recognized was for the closure plan design and reclamation of the Kidd jarosite pond area and Three Nations Creek. The jarosite (iron sulphate mud produced from zinc refining) pond, or landfill facility, was built in 1971 and it operated from 1972 until operations ceased in 2010. Rehabilitation activities included the removal of soils, re-vegetation and a remedial action plan for the aquatic ecosystem in Three Nations Creek.
Tom Peters was a pioneer in the field of mine reclamation and a founding member of the CLRA, which was established in 1975. Mr. Peters died in 2007. He enjoyed a lengthy and successful career at Vale’s predecessor company Inco where he led the company’s tailings re-vegetation and land reclamation programs. He played a major role in the re-greening of Sudbury and was awarded a honourary degree from Laurentian University in recognition of that significant contribution.
The symposium portion of the seventh annual Ontario Mine Reclamation Symposium and Field Trip included presentations on geology and mining in Southern Ontario, innovative approaches to mine closure and reclamation and re-vegetation using native species. There were also papers on the use of mine sites for nature and resource based tourism, mine waste stability and agricultural land reclamation.
The Tom Peters award also includes a $5,000 scholarship presented to a graduate student who must deliver a presentation on their research topic. This year, Christina Mol from Lakehead University won the academic prize for her work on plants stabilizing metals in soils at closed mine sites. Autumn Wilkinson from Laurentian University was also awarded $500 for her work on developing manufactured soils for successional re-vegetation of mined lands.
The field trip component of the conference attracted about 80 participants. Sites visited included the CBM Lakefield aggregate property, Dyno a decommissioned uranium mine, the Bancroft Museum, the Conley talc mine, which has been closed, and the old Marmoraton iron mine. This area of Southern Ontario is home to some of earliest mining sites in Ontario.
The OMA and CLRA have held this mine reclamation conference in a variety of communities across Ontario in the past. This year’s location marks the first time this event has been held in Southern Ontario. Previous locations for the workshops have been Kirkland Lake (2008), Timmins (2009), Elliot Lake (2010), Sudbury (2011), Thunder Bay (2012) and Cobalt (2013).
The purpose of these mine rehabilitation conferences is to encourage the pursuit of excellence in mine reclamation, share knowledge, information and research results and to share best practices. It is also to promote a better understanding of the outstanding achievements in mine reclamation to Ontario’s mining industry, the environmental community and the broader public.