Surface mining is a temporary disturbance of the land and mining companies prioritize rehabilitation planning early in the development process. The final landform remains consistent with the surrounding area and provides multi-generational land use into the future.
With modern mining, reclamation and land use planning occurs before a project ever begins construction. Modern regulation ensures industry provides a reclamation plan before a project is approved. Industry, in turn, prepares reclamation plans in conjunction with Indigenous communities and key stakeholders.
Reclamation planning begins with the collection of environmental data related to air, water, vegetation and wildlife to understand the ecosystem prior to the preliminary engineering of any proposed mine site. This data, along with strict environmental regulations and input from Indigenous communities and stakeholders, informs the reclamation plan.
Modern mining involves progressive reclamation, meaning that mining operations and reclamation occur concurrently – as disturbed land within the mine site is no longer required, it is reclaimed. This reclamation includes re-contouring, re-vegetation, and re-forestation of the land based on science and the input that industry receives from stakeholders.
- Re-contouring: Begins once a mine phase has been completed; re-contouring involves placing rock from the next phase into the void created by the previous phase. Re-contouring is tailored to support future public access, wetlands and waterbodies, all while providing suitable terrain for any number of wildlife species.
- Re-vegetation to natural grassland: Re-vegetation can be tailored to provide any desired amount of natural grassland area to support future land use objectives.
- Re-forestation: Targeted re-forestation can be used to ensure and support a thriving population of sensitive species such as white bark pine and limber pine. Re-forestation can also be tailored to provide any desired level of forestation to support future land use objectives.
The video below demonstrates progressive reclamation while identifying the possibilities of a final landform with multiple land uses shows.