Canadian Reclamation Spring 2023

Page 1

Québec City, June

Evaluating traditional land use planning in oil sands mine closure and reclamation plans Going green at Gunnar Mine and Mill Site


An official publication of the Canadian Land Reclamation Association / Une publication officielle de l’Association canadienne de réhabilitation des sites dégradés
2023 RE3 Conference –

C l o s u r e M a d e S i m p l e .

Using site closure as our ultimate goal, 360 is an industry-leader in environmental programs, strategies and execution plans across Canada.

S t r a t e g i c l i a b i l i t y m a n a g e m e n t

A r e a - b a s e d c l o s u r e p l a n n i n g

S i t e a s s e s s m e n t s i n W e s t e r n C a n a d a

S o i l a n d g r o u n d w a t e r m o n i t o r i n g

R i s k m a n a g e m e n t a n d a s s e s s m e n t s

R e m e d i a t i o n a n d r e c l a m a t i o n

V e g e t a t i o n m a n a g e m e n t

S t a k e h o l d e r a n d i n d u s t r y e n g a g e m e n t

Calgary · Fort St. John · Fairview · Lac La Biche 4 0 3 . 4 5 4 . 3 6 0 0 w w w . 3 6 0 e l m . c o m

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IN CANADA | 05/2023

4 CANADIAN RECLAMATION s Spring/Summer 2023 contents Published by
Communications Inc.
Message from the President 7 CLRA Executives and Directors ...........................................................................................................8 CLRA Chapters 10 Past Presidents 11 The Green Retort: Levelling the Field 14 Why Join CLRA/ACRSD 6 Saskatchewan Chapter Update 17 CLRA/ACRSD National Awards 2022 20 Victor Diamond Mine Receives Tom Peters Memorial Mine Reclamation Award 26 CLRA/ACRSD Meetings and Award recipients ............................................................................. 28 Quebec City relaunches the Québec RE3 Conference 30 RE3 Course: Taxonomy of key bryophyte and lichen species useful in ecosystem restoration 34 SWS Canada at RE3 in Quebec City 36 ISHS: A global horticultural network 37 Traditional land use policy and practice in oil sands mine closure planning on reclaimed Fort McKay First Nation homelands 40 Going green at Gunnar Mine and Mill Site 48 What’s “buzzing” about bee boxes? 52 Lethbridge College’s Ecological Restoration Club collects seeds to restore habitats 54 Women in mining tackle the changing face of mine closure 56 Partnering with Tree Canada to restore our forests 60 Photo essay: Restored and natural fens of Quebec and Manitoba 62 Supporting capacity building with knowledge to practice ......................................................... 64 Panther Geoscience pounces on the latest geotechnologies for environmental benefit 66 Start your career with Portage College’s Natural Resources Technology program 68 Victor and Snap Lake Mines enter final stages of active closure 70 Land reclamation in a new decade: A call for action and education 73 Due diligence as a pathway to cost savings .................................................................................. 76 Save money by reducing time to closure on boreal forest sites 78 Ernco Environmental celebrates 15 years of growing “gains” 80 Clean Harbors adds value to your reclamation project 83 Let our track record be your track record 86 Erocon marks 58 years of land reclamation and revegetation experience 88 Index to advertisers 90



• Subsoil & topsoil replacement

• Decompaction

• Contouring

• Erosion control

• Road decommisioning

• Revegetation

• Site preparation for tree planting


• Removal & transportation of impacted soils

• Provision of clean clay fill

• Soil treatment options

• ALLU bucket services


• Containment

• Recovery & removal of impacted soils


• Tandem & tridem box trucks

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• Winch tractors, scissor necks, & Jeep combinations

• Heavy equipment hauling

• Two Ton pickers, dump trailers, & tilt decks

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6 CANADIAN RECLAMATION s Spring/Summer 2023 Native Plants Start Here SPECIALIZING IN... • Native Plants for Reclamation • Seed Processing • Seed Storage • First Nation Alliances 604-530-9300 Reclamation - Remediation - Spill Response - Biophysical Services - Emissions Quantification & Reporting - Environmental Assessments - Regulatory Compliance - Liability Management - Vegetation Management


national president's message FANNIE DESROSIERS 2023

is well underway, and it is an excellent time to provide feedback and let us know what’s important for you, our members. Take the three minutes to complete the online survey:

Thank you in advance for your feedback.

The CLRA National Chapter is holding its Annual General Meeting at the 2023 RE3 Conference in Quebec City on Tuesday, June 13 (12:00 to 1:30 p.m.). The AGM will be in person and online so that members across the nation can join. An invite to attend the AGM will be sent to you in early May 2023.

Check out our pre-conference workshops, field tours, keynote speakers, symposiums, mid-week field tours and more. We are proud to host a joint conference between the Society for Ecological Restoration - Eastern Canada (SEREC) and the Canadian Land Reclamation Association (CLRA) from June 11 to 15th, 2023, at the third year of the UN Decade of Ecosystem Restoration (20212030). Visit the conference website for more information and updates Quebec RE3 | Québec City relaunches the Québec RE3 Conference, from June 11-15th, 2023 (

The CLRA is looking for new directors in all provinces to join the team. Please see the nomination form:

Visit for more events from our chapters!

CANADIAN RECLAMATION s Spring/Summer 2023 7

CLRA Executives and Directors



8 CANADIAN RECLAMATION s Spring/Summer 2023
President Fannie DesRosiers Calgary, AB Past President Andrea McEachern In Memory Treasurer Elissa Ferguson Rossland, BC Secretary Stephanie DeRuiter Fredericton, NB Kevin Hunsche St. Albert, AB Lucie Labbé Montréal, QC Amber Flamand Calgary, AB Todd Clouse Regina, SK Ian Young Winnipeg, MB Justin Straker Duncan, BC Abby Van Der Jagt Dartmouth, NS Vice President Kelly Zadko Calgary, AB Adam Ceccheto Sudbury, ON
Reclamation • Remediation Environmental Site Assessment • Soils Wildlife Management & Mitigation Indigenous Partnership & Training Oil Sands • Pipelines • Land Development Edmonton • Calgary • Edson • Peace River • Athabasca • Sundre performance and purpose driven. 780.481.9777

CLRA Chapters and Past Presidents



Amber Flamand

Calgary, AB


Liana Phoenix

Calgary, AB


Megan Valvasori

Calgary, AB


Susan Tiffin

Calgary, AB

Past President

Kelly Zadko

Calgary, AB


Diana Dunn

Calgary, AB

Troy Gooch

Calgary, AB

Duncan Mathers

Calgary, AB

Angela MacKinnon

Calgary, AB

Meghan Olesiuk

Calgary, AB

Brent Walchuk

Sherwood Park, AB



Abby van der Jagt

Dartmouth, NS


Chris Thomson

Saint John, NB

Past President

Frank Potter

Sydney, NS


Carman Stevens

Halifax, NS


Dawn Negus

Bedford, NS


Jim Barnet Kilarney Road, NB

Bob Pett

Halifax, NS

Tony Bowron

Terence Bay, NS



Ian Young

Winnipeg, MB



Justin Straker

Duncan, BC



Adam Cecchetto

Sudbury, ON


Bryan Tisch

Ottawa, ON

Past President

Jennifer Hargreaves

Sudbury, ON


Sarah Barabash

Etobicoke, ON


Lesley Hymers

Toronto ON


Bill Mackasey

Lindsay, ON

Ashlee Zelek

Mississauga, ON

Peter Beckett

Sudbury, ON

Quentin Smith

Sudbury, ON

Samantha McGarry

Sudbury, ON

Christopher Hey

Ottawa, ON

10 CANADIAN RECLAMATION s Spring/Summer 2023



Lucie Labbé

Montréal, QC




Martin Beaudoin Nadeau Québec, QC

Trésorier Nicolas Roy Outremont, QC


Pierre Fardeau

Montréal, QC


Benoit Limoges

Québec, QC

Kawina Robichaud

Saint-Anne-de-la-Pocatière, QC

Line Rochefort Québec, QC

Gabriel Charbonneau

Val-David, QC

Pascal Guérin Québec, QC



Todd Clouse

Regina, SK

Vice -President


Past President

Taylor Peck

Regina, SK






Christopher Gallop

Regina, SK

Josh Gibb

Saskatoon, SK

Reese Giraudier

Regina, SK

Todd Han

Regina, SK

Jessica Spira

Saskatoon, SK


1976 – 1978 Jack Winch, Ontario

1978 – 1979 Jack Thirgood, British Columbia

1979 – 1980 Phil Lulman, Alberta

1980 – 1981 Bernard Brooks, Québec

1981 – 1982 Tom Peters, Ontario

1982 – 1983 Gordon Boutilier, Nova Scotia

1983 – 1984 Percy Sims, Alberta

1984 – 1985 Alex Ansell, Ontario

1985 – 1986 Paul Ziemkiewicz, Alberta

1986 – 1987 Keith Winterhalder, Ontario

1987 – 1988 Holly Quan, Alberta

1988 – 1989 Chris Powter, Alberta

1989 – 1990 Daniel Boivin, Québec

1990 – 1991 David Murray, Ontario

1991 – 1992 Thomas Oddie, Alberta

1992 – 1994 Margarete Kalin, Ontario

1994 – 1995 Judith Smith, Alberta

1995 – 1996 Darl Bolton, Ontario

1996 – 1997 Carol Jones, British Columbia

1997 – 1998 Moreen Miller, Ontario

1998 – 1999 David Lloyd, Alberta

1999 – 2000 Al Fedkenheuer, Alberta

2000 – 2001 David Polster, British Columbia

2001 – 2002 M. Anne Naeth, Alberta

2002 – 2003 Tracy Patterson, Alberta

2003 – 2004 Peter Beckett, Ontario

2004 – 2005 Lisa Lanteigne, Ontario

2005 – 2006 David Polster, British Columbia

2006 – 2007 Sherry Yundt, Ontario

2007 – 2008 Roger Didychuk, Alberta

2008 – 2010 Bryan Tisch, Ontario

2010 – 2015 David Polster, British Columbia

2015 – 2021 Andrea McEachern, Alberta

CANADIAN RECLAMATION s Spring/Summer 2023 11


Raising the bar for amphibious work programs in the boreal forest and beyond.



Did you enjoy working from a distant, remote location during the “work from home” period? I ventured from Alberta and spent a few months with family in quaint New Brunswick, while still working on Alberta and British Columbia sites. I had been feeling like the Atlantic salmon with an unsatisfied, innate desire to return to an imprinted birthplace. The heart is fond of family, friends, and eastern woods, waters, and coastal waves crashing on rocks and rolling onto beaches. However, as a contaminated sites practitioner and P.Ag, a permanent move across the nation would be an illogical sacrifice with enormous opportunity cost. In this country, all things are not equal for contaminated site assessment, risk management, and remediation practitioners.

In each province and territory, contaminated site assessment and remediation practitioners directing and validating projects must be qualified. What is a qualified site professional? It depends on the jurisdiction. And this discrepancy is unjustifiably restrictive, discriminatory, and exclusionist.

In Atlantic Canada, only registered engineers and geologists can practice contaminated site assessment and remediation with autonomy (they can stamp reports). The exception is that Newfoundland may consider other professionals but only if they have a master’s or higher level of education. Ontario is similarly restrictive. In Ontario professionals other than registered engineers and geologists can complete Phase 1 and 2 site assessments; however, remediation signoff requires a registered engineer or geologist. It is much different and more inclusive in Quebec, the western provinces, and the territories where other competent registered professionals such as agrologists (soil scientists), biologists, chemists, and others can practice with autonomy. In those provinces, registered professionals are typically bound by a Code of Ethics and Practice Standards, or similar.

Many competent, registered professionals (who are not engineers or geologists) practicing in western Canada, Quebec, and the territories are unfairly excluded from completing and validating assessment and remediation projects in Ontario and the Atlantic provinces. This restricts labour mobility, economic opportunity, and innovation. This legislated monopolization of the market by engineers and geologists in Ontario and the Atlantic provinces is arbitrary and inequitable as proven by the success of a broader range of competent practitioners in Quebec, the western provinces, and territories. British Columbia has the most complex and rigorous contaminated site management processes and agrologists, biologists, chemists, and other professions, as well as engineers and geologists, can all practice there with sign off ability if they are bound by their relevant professional association’s requirements.

It's preposterous for Ontario and the Atlantic provinces to exclude soil scientists, biologists, ecologists, ecotoxicologists, and chemists from practicing, with autonomy and signoff ability, human and ecological health risk-based assessments and remediation of soil and water. Non engineer and non geologist scientists with skills in biochemical processes of contaminant attenuation and bioremediation and other principles are denied value. Soil profile biophysical processes and shallow groundwater knowledge are a soil scientist’s (agrologist) specialty. This discrepancy could even generate legal claims against jurisdictions unjustifiably excluding competent practitioners. Ontario and the Atlantic provinces should look at the Site Professional standards that have been effective in western Canada for many years.

14 CANADIAN RECLAMATION s Fall/Winter 2022
In science, Chad

Provincial and Territorial Site Professional distinctions:

NEW BRUNSWICK: A Site Professional must be a registered member of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of New Brunswick (APEGNB).

Source: New Brunswick Department of Environment and Local Government, Guideline for the Management of Contaminated Sites Version 3.0 (March 2023)

NOVA SCOTIA: a Site Professional must be registered to practice under the Geoscience Profession Act or the Engineering Profession Act; and have at least five years’ experience in contaminated site investigation, management, and remediation.

Source: Nova Scotia Contaminated Sites Regulations (2020)

PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND: A Site Professional must be licensed to practice engineering in the Province of Prince Edward Island or who is licensed to practice geoscience in another jurisdiction in Canada.

Source: PEI Environmental Protection Act Petroleum Hydrocarbon Remediation Regulations (2015)

NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR: A Site Professional must be a member of the Professional Engineers and geoscientists of Newfoundland and Labrador (PEGNL); or hold a minimum of a related master’s degree in science, applied science, engineering, applied technology, or one otherwise acceptable to the Department. The individual shall also have at least five years of directly relevant experience.

Source: Guidance Document for the Management of Impacted Sites in Newfoundland and Labrador, Version 2 (2014)

QUEBEC: As of April 12, 2023, a qualified Professional must be a member of a relevant professional order and certified in the land characterization and rehabilitation field by an organization accredited by the Standards Council of Canada under ISO 17024. According to the Ministry, the only organization that is currently accredited in Québec is the Québec Association of Envi-

ronmental Auditing (AQVE – Association Québécoise de Vérification Environnementale).

Source: https://www.environnement. abandon-liste-experts-en.htm

MANITOBA: A Qualified Environmental Professional is a requirement. The term is undefined in the Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship Contaminated Sites Remediation Act and Regulation and associated standards. A department leader confirmed that persons with a relevant professional designation and having experience meet their requirements. The department leader confirmed that relevant professionals include Certified Engineering Technologists (CET). They could also include professional agrologists, biologists, engineers, geologists, and others.

SASKATCHEWAN: A Qualified Person must be associated with a profession and/or professional body of practice (includes applied science technologists, agrologists, engineers, etc.). Individuals not meeting those criteria can request designation as a qualified person.

Source: Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment; The Environmental Management and Protection Act (2010), and underlying code and standards.

ALBERTA: A competent Qualified Professional must be a practicing member of the Alberta Institute of Agrologists (AIA), the Alberta Society of Professional Biologists (ASPB), the Association of the Chemical Profession of Alberta (ACPA), the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA), the Association of Science and Engineering Technology Professionals of Alberta (ASET), the College of Alberta Professional Foresters (CAPF), or the College of Alberta Professional Forest Technologists (CAPFT).

Source: Alberta Environment and Protected Areas. EPEA. Remediation Regulation. Environmental Site Assessment Standard (2016)

BRITISH COLUMBIA has more complex distinctions of Qualified Professionals (QP), Approved Professionals (AP), Riskbased Standards Approved Professionals, and the Contaminated Sites Approved Professional Society (CSAP) Society. A Qualified Professional must be registered with a professional body and have relevant expertise. A QP can complete site investigations and remediation. APs have been appointed to the ministry’s Roster of Approved Professionals and are registered professional agrologists, biologists, chemists, engineers, or geoscientists. In addition to site investigations and remediation, QPs can (in simple terms) conduct audits, reviews, and draft ministerial instrumentation documents for review by the Ministry. In addition, QPs acting collectively as the CSAP Society provide governance, review, and audit functions.

Source: content/environment/air-land-water/siteremediation/professional-reliance

NUNAVUT: A Qualified Person has relevant and appropriate knowledge and experience in contaminated site management. The term is otherwise unspecified.

Source: Government of Nunavut Department of Environment; Environmental Guideline for the Management of Contaminated Sites (2014) NORTHWEST TERRITORIES: A Qualified Person is undefined.

Source: Government of the Northwest Territories Approach to Contaminated Sites Management (2019)

YUKON: A Qualified Professional is an applied scientist or technologist specializing in a relevant practice such as agrology, biology, chemistry, engineering, geology, or hydrogeology.

Source: Environmental Protection and Assessment Branch, Department of Environment, Protocol no. 3: Soil Sampling Procedures at Contaminated Sites (2020)

CANADIAN RECLAMATION s Spring/Summer 2023 15


Membership is for one calendar year and includes member-exclusive access to the secure online CLRA Member Directory, news and event updates, and presentations and proceedings. You will also receive a subscription to our semi-annual publication, Canadian Reclamation, which features articles about current and emerging reclamation projects and practices.

These publications allow the organization to have an informal, instructional role in the decision-making processes of reclamation/rehabilitation projects and to act as a forum for the dissemination of ideas and information pertinent to reclamation activities.

CLRA/ACRSD is an active member of the International Affiliation of Land Reclamationists. As such, all members of CLRA/ ACRSD are also members of the IALR.

Sign-up for a three-year membership term and save up to 20 per cent on corporate and individual membership dues. Select your preferred chapter affiliation(s) during the application/renewal process to receive updated specific to your geographical location (Alberta, Atlantic, British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, Saskatchewan).

Note: Membership is free for full-time students.

Western Sky Land Trust Conserving


• Listing and access to membership directory with over 500 individual and corporate members involved in land reclamation across Canada.

• Corporate members will have access to employee accounts and opportunity to share relevant events on our Website Event Calendar.

• Subscription to Canadian Reclamation magazine, featuring news, project articles, supplier information, and articles pertaining to land reclamation in Canada and around the world.

• Receive notices, calls for abstracts, and discounted registration fees for CLRA events, annual meetings, and conferences.

• Tremendous networking opportunities at national and chapter events.

• Link to other professional land reclamation associations in the UK, USA, Australia, and China.

• Initiatives to support educational awards and scholarships in land reclamation.

• Continuing education and development in professional land reclamation and remediation through lunch and learns, field trips, and workshops.

• Access to members-only portal including full online membership directory, job posting module, file sharing, webinars, and more!

16 CANADIAN RECLAMATION s Spring/Summer 2023
you CLRA –Alberta Chapter!
Your generous support
us to continue our important conservation work. Thank
Our Sense of Place


The Saskatchewan Chapter is pleased to welcome Jessica Spira in her role as a Director with the Chapter Board of Directors. Jessica brings with her a wealth of knowledge from her ongoing, 17-year career with ALS Canada Ltd. and an educational background in Environmental Technology, Environmental Science, and Biological Science. In her current role as a Business Development Representative, Jessica develops the ALS Saskatchewan territory, while assisting with Prairies and Canada-wide targets and opportunities. Congratulations on your new role, and welcome to the CLRA!

Tannas Conservation Services (TCS) is a family owned and operated company based northwest of Calgary, Alberta, with over 30 years of consulting experience across western Canada. TCS is a full-service environmental company serving the oil and gas and mining industry across western Canada.

Our services include:

• Reclamation

• Bioengineering

• Research

• Phyto-Remediation of Contaminated Water

• Wildlife Assessments

• Wetland Assessments

• Vegetation Assessments

• Aquatic Assessments

• Regulatory Support and Applications

• Environmental Impact Assessments


CANADIAN RECLAMATION s Spring/Summer 2023 17
We specialize in solving complex problems in natural environments.


Panther Geoscience is a turnkey service provider with nearly 100 years of combined experience in Geophysics, Geology, Remote Sensing, GIS, and Agrology. We provide world class expertise, access to state-of-the-art technology, and guarantee indefinite post project support.

Globally recognized as a leader of technical excellence, Panther Geoscience has participated in many high profile projects including:

• Completion of record wellsite and facility contamination identification campaigns on CNRL assets for Phase 2 ESA work planning.

• Successful contamination delineation of hundreds of sites in Kuwait impacted by the First Gulf War.

• Provided geophysical expertise for archaeological and near surface targets on the hit television series “The Curse of Oak Island”.

Remote Sensing Methods

• Digital Terrain/Elevation Models

• Aerial Imagery

• Multispectral Analysis

• Photogrammetry

Applications and Methods


• Environmental

• Geotechnical

• Hydrogeological

• Agricultural

• Archaeological

• Forensics


We specialize in electromagnetic (EM) investigations and have unrivaled capabilities to detect and visualize contamination. The weapons of choice are the EM31, EM38, and EM34 with their proven sensitivity to salinity.

Our investigations guide borehole placement, improve remediation/reclamation cost forecasting, and increase the success rate for complete salinity contamination identification and remediation.

Unfortunately, traditional EM analysis lacks depth precision and is restricted by ambiguous “Apparent Conductivity” amplitude output. Panther Geoscience has overcome these limitations through proprietary workflows, software modifications, and novel technology applications.

Geoscience Methods

• Electromagnetics (EM)

• Electrical Resistivity Tomography (ERT)

• Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR)

• Seismology

• Borehole Logging

Enhanced 3D EM Capabilities

• Precise depth estimation and horizontal depth slicing

• Recovery of “True Conductivity”

• Metal detection

• Contamination volumetrics

• Cross section and 3D visualization

• Integration of elevation, imagery, and multispectral data

By employing a very lean business model and drastically eliminating overhead, Panther Geoscience can provide industry leading solutions at historical market prices and is willing to work with clients to fit within their budgetary needs.

To ensure professional regulatory compliance, Panther Geoscience is fully insured and holds a permit to practice from APEGA, with eligibility to work throughout Canada. We staff Geophysicists, Geologists, and Agrologists with accreditation to authenticate and sign off on geophysical, geological, and environmental documents.

Asset Retirement Benefits

• Complete salinity contamination detection and visualization

• Clear contaminant pathway identification

• Minimized or eliminated physical sampling requirements

• Accelerated asset retirement timeline

Phone: 825-205-9902


• Calibration of quantitative SST evaluations and risk assessments

• Precise remediation/reclamation cost forecasting

• Optimum operational efficiency

• Quantitative soil property analysis

Nomination deadline for all awards is December 31st. For full information, criteria, and to apply, please visit

National Awards 2022

Dr. Edward M. Watkin Award

Recipient: Kelly Ostermann

Through her career as a researcher, instructor, and consultant, Kelly Ostermann has taught, mentored, and collaborated with many students and professionals. She has contributed behind the scenes in her volunteer work with NGOs, and her relationships with regulators, her professional organization, and the public. Through this collaboration and mentorship, Kelly’s contribution isn’t just what she has done, but how she has influenced others in their work in reclamation. This is represented by the number of graduate students she worked with and researchers at the U of A, and the associated acknowledgements that are listed in her résumé. Her consulting career has allowed her to collaborate with diverse discipline experts and with people of all experience levels. This has created opportunities to share her knowledge base with many practitioners.

The following are some of Kelly’s achievements and impacts in the field of land reclamation:

• Served as a researcher at the University of Alberta for 11 years working with over 20 graduate students and supporting their research and serving as the Soil Physics Laboratory Manager.

• Worked on diverse reclamation projects for over three decades, including wellsite, pipeline, mining, and gravel pit reclamation; wetland restoration and wetland recovery research; caribou habitat restoration; reclamation planning prior to project construction; and revegetation recovery plans following disturbance, including impact from spill response.

• Worked as an environmental consultant in Alberta for over 25 years, including serving on Alberta Institute of Agrologists committees to develop two practice standards: Land Reclamation and Biophysical Assessment and Ecological Classification.

• Served as President of the Alberta Native Plant Council for eight years and continued active involvement for approximately 15 years.

• Contributed as a Director of the Clifford E. Lee Nature Sanctuary for approximately 10 years.

• Land Reclamation instructor at the University of Alberta Faculty of Extension (now called Continuing and Professional Education),

teaching a reclamation course for four years to developing professionals.

• Led numerous projects involving habitat inventory, reclamation planning and wetland restoration on numerous highway projects, including the Anthony Henday Drive Expansion in Edmonton, Parson Creek Interchange in Fort McMurray, and Highway 63 twinning north of Wandering River.

• Technically advised numerous projects, including:

— a large-scale pipeline break project wherein her team developed site-specific criteria for wetland recovery.

— a Northwest Territory (NWT) project involving the expansion of the Tibbitt to Contwoyto winter road.

— operational plans for caribou restoration on seismic lines for submission to Alberta Environmental Protection (now called Alberta Environment and Protected Areas).

• Served as one of the pioneer consultants in applying new guidelines for projects impacting wetlands under the Alberta Wetland Policy (Alberta Government 2013).

• Served on the Species Recovery Teams for the Limber Pine and White Bark Pine setting goals for the protection of these species on the Alberta landscape, representing the Alberta Native Plant Council.

• Managed the soil physics lab at the University of Alberta under David Chanasyk for nine years, working with graduate students from numerous faculties doing working in oilsands and coal mining, analyzing effects of soil amendments on soil physical properties, and testing effect of different agricultural practices l properties.

• Mentored numerous young professionals in environmental consulting.

• Achieved high-level management or Principal level in two consulting companies, EBA Engineering (now a TetraTech company) and Matrix Solutions Inc.

Education in the great outdoors Natural Resources Technology Program Learn about our natural world in class, in the field, and in the lab. Next intake August 28, 2023 For more information, or to apply, email Box 417, 9531 94 Avenue Lac La Biche, AB

IN-TECH Reclamation Award (Individual)

Recipient: Clinton Smyth

Dr. Clinton Smyth (Clint) has spent a long and accomplished career working in the land reclamation field. He first worked in the ecological sciences doing forestry-related research with the British Columbia Ministry of Forests in the late 1970s. He began to work in land reclamation in mining as a student in the early 1980s, receiving a scholarship from the B.C. Ministry of Mines as a graduate student (at the University of Victoria) in 1984, and has worked steadily and tirelessly on land-reclamation-related issues ever since.

Clint has contributed actively and with dedication to the field of land reclamation in Canada for over 40 years and is a rare professional and a very valuable source of reclamation knowledge, not only due to the depth of his experience but also to the breadth of roles he has had within the field of land reclamation. He worked for government agencies during his early career and as a reclamation specialist on the staff of an operating coal mine in northeast BC for six years. Clint completed his MSc (1987) and Ph.D. (1996) in high-altitude coal-mine reclamation and has made frequent contributions as a sessional and laboratory instructor since then. He has spent the last 27 years of his career as an ecological consultant, working primarily in land reclamation and mining.

As a reclamation specialist at an operating coal mine, Clint worked in challenging conditions, primarily the need to reclaim high-elevation mine-rock dumps with very little soil cover. In this work, he pioneered techniques for the establishment of islands of high-elevation native plants, including protocols for seed collection, plant propagation, and establishment of research trials to systematically evaluate success and refine approaches. He was an early proponent and practitioner of native-plant-based reclamation, and his work influenced approaches to high-elevation revegetation in montane mines.

As an ecological consultant, Clint has worked in a broad range of land-reclamation settings in Canada, including at gold mines in boreal eastern Ontario, mountain coal mines in BC and Alberta, mine-closure projects in Yukon, and diamond mines in Canada’s north. He has based his work on a firm conviction of the importance of the application of robust data and good science to land reclamation.

In his academic endeavours, Clint has both taught and contributed

to the published scientific record. Clint has 24 years of sessional teaching experience at the University of Victoria, the University of Calgary, the University of Lethbridge, and Mount Royal University, teaching a broad range of topics, from first-year physical geography and controversies in science to fourth-year plant ecology. He co-authored three reports in the late 1980s on high-elevation reclamation, his above-mentioned theses, and six peer-reviewed journal articles. Clint has been an early and regular contributor to Canadian conferences on land reclamation, presenting six times at CLRA conferences from 1996 to 2019 (and publishing once in Canadian Reclamation), a further 10 times (and authoring corresponding papers) at B.C.’s annual Mine Reclamation Symposium, and contributing to various related conferences such as the Northern Latitudes Mine Reclamation Workshop and Society for Ecological Restoration conferences.

It’s in teaching – both formal and informal – that Clint truly excels. He has guided younger associates, given them confidence in their growing competence and acted as a calming presence during challenging work conditions. Clint’s colleagues truly value time with him in the field, learning directly about land reclamation. To Clint, every piece of fieldwork is to be done well, but also presents a “teaching moment”, whether it’s in plant identification, soil description, wildlife habitat, or landscape ecology. He has been described as a “phenomenal” teacher, and he teaches two of the best-loved courses in UVic’s Restoration of Natural Systems program and is truly dedicated to his students as an instructor, committee member, and mentor. Clint has made a direct impact on the work done at Integral Ecology Group, but his largest impact is how he has both inspired his colleagues’ interest in land reclamation and supported them in growing their skill sets in fieldwork and ecosystem mapping. In this way, Clint’s largest influences on land reclamation in Canada have been on development of students and skilled personnel across a range of fields and disciplines.

Clint is a pioneer in his field and has been a keen learner and a participant in many scientific, professional, and reclamation-related organizations, including the CLRA. He has done all this with humility and integrity, which is as notable as his accomplishments, and he is justly and richly deserving of the IN-TECH Reclamation Award for individual achievement.

22 CANADIAN RECLAMATION s Spring/Summer 2023
• Contaminated Soils and Spill Clean Up • Soil Remediation and Seeding • Water and Wind Erosion Control • Complete Reclamation Services • Land Fill Clean Ups for Dirt, Concrete and Asphalt 306.529.6602

IN-TECH Reclamation Award (Group)

Recipient: Peatland Ecology Research Group (PERG)

Canada is home to a significant proportion (27 per cent) of the world's peatlands. In their natural state, peatlands provide a specific habitat for many species of flora and fauna, and they provide many ecosystem services useful to human populations, especially the sequestration of carbon as accumulated peat.

For 30 years, the Peatland Ecology Research Group (PERG) has been able to establish itself as one of the leaders in ecological restoration and reclamation of degraded peatlands, not only in Canada, but also around the world.

In 1992, Line Rochefort of Université Laval (Quebec, Canada), established the Peatland Ecology Research Group (PERG) called in French “Groupe de recherche en écologie des tourbières” (GRET), the result of a concerted effort between different actors bringing together university scientists from various disciplines (vegetation, wildlife, hydrology, geochemistry), the Canadian peat industry, and federal and provincial government agencies.

The first restoration experiments were conducted on post-extraction peatlands in Quebec and New Brunswick. In 1994, the first trial aiming at mechanizing some steps of the future restoration methods took place. After early successes in experimental restoration techniques, the first Peatland Restoration Guide for peatland managers was published in 1997 (Quinty & Rochefort, 1997), describing what was at that time called "The Canadian Approach to Peatland Restoration”.

Known and used by the Canadian peat industry, The Peatland Restoration Guide has been updated twice since its first publication, providing more detailed and up-to-date instructions on restoration techniques as research progresses (Quinty & Rochefort 2003; Quinty et al. 2019, 2020a, b, c). PERG members have also published the results of their research on peatlands and peatland restoration and reclamation in nearly 200 refereed scientific articles, 22 book chapters, 12 books and monographs, 53 conference proceedings, at least 24 reports, and 14 popular articles. They’ve given presentations and presented posters at several hundred symposia, conferences, and congresses, and PERG researchers have been involved in the organization of international conferences, such as those of Quebec 2000, the International Symposium on Responsible Peatland Management and Growing Media Production (2011) and the upcoming RE3 Conference: Reclaim, Restore, Rewild (2023). Many PERG researchers and students are CLRA

members and participate in the annual meetings of the various chapters.

The long-term funding of PERG researchers by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and the non-stop support of the Canadian horticultural peat industry through the 1990s, 2000s and 2010s has allowed the group to have unique databases, covering restoration sites across Canada and long-term monitoring of the efficiency of restoration and reclamation actions. NSERC and peat industry funding continue to support the PERG research in the 2020s.

Advances in peatland restoration and reclamation are the result not only of the development of the expertise of PERG researchers but also of the training of highly qualified personnel, including 135 graduate students, 20 postdoctoral fellows, and more than 16 research professionals.

A growing number of stakeholders involved in the world of peatlands (not only peat producers) are now informed of the different ways of managing these ecosystems after disturbances. PERG annual symposia and technology transfer workshops, as well as the Écho tourbières newsletter, and a website that provides summaries of research publications, ensure a practical knowledge transfer to the various stakeholders including regulators.

PERG's success in peatland restoration has led governments in various provinces in Canada to modify their policies on wetlands and peatlands. The Moss Layer Transfer Technique MLTT is at the origin of the Peat Policy adopted by the Government of New Brunswick, which paved the road for wetland and peatland regulation in most other provinces where the peat industry is active, especially Quebec, Manitoba, and Alberta, where peatland restoration is now required.

PERG's work has demonstrated the importance of conserving peatland ecosystems in their natural state. When this isn’t possible, PERG has proven that restoring disturbed peatlands allows the return of functional ecosystems, in terms of biodiversity, water regime and carbon sequestration. The PERG and its members have been involved in restoration and conservation projects targeting peatlands with conservation status, including the Grande Plée Bleue (QC), Mer Bleue (ON), Wainflet Bog (ON) and Burns Bog (BC).

24 CANADIAN RECLAMATION s Spring/Summer 2023

Linda Jones Memorial Award

Behnaz Bahroudi is an M.Sc. Student at Thompson Rivers University (TRU) and a Campaigns Committee representative at the TRU Students’ Union. Currently, Behnaz is studying the reclamation of a closed tailings storage facility at New Afton Mine. The primary goal of her research is to provide recommendations for the return of a sustainable ecosystem by determining appropriate soil cover depths and amendments.

Reclamation of tailings storage facilities with sustainable technologies is an evolving area of study that is significant in achieving post-mining end land use capabilities. Mine tailings are of inferior quality to natural soil due to a lack of nutrients and the potential contamination of heavy metals. The accumulation of mine tailings and wastes on the surface leads to the alteration of soil biogeochemistry, which includes the important factors for vegetation

to cover tailings with subsoil and topsoil and enrich the soil with amendments. With a limited supply of topsoil and till materials, each mine is faced with determining the appropriate cover depths to promote vegetation and ecosystem development. Behnaz’s research consisted of a greenhouse and field experiment. The greenhouse trial was conducted to investigate the impact of zeolite, leonardite, and fortified compost with different ratios on the growth of a native plant under environmentally controlled conditions. The field soil amendment trial was developed to investigate the effects of amendments within different soil cover depths.

By undertaking these trials, Behnaz’s research will provide valuable insights into the utilization of mining byproducts (zeolite and leonardite) in conjunction with compost, as well as identify the optimal soil cover depth for sustainable tailings management.

Hands-on learning.


Lakeland College was founded on the belief that students learn best through action. Hands-on learning has always been our focus. Whether you come to Lakeland to learn practical skills in land stewardship, environmental sustainability and more, come prepared to learn by doing and graduate job ready.

• Environmental Sciences Diploma

• Bachelor of Applied Science: Environmental Management – new capstone project format!

CANADIAN RECLAMATION s Spring/Summer 2023 25


The De Beers Group Victor Mine closure project is the 2022 recipient of the Tom Peters Memorial Mine Reclamation Award.

The Victor Mine is in the James Bay lowlands, situated within the second largest wetland complex in the world, an area that’s both ecologically sensitive and largely undisturbed. It operated between 2008-2019.

Constructed mine rock pads had to be built to facilitate a full-scale 24/7 mining operation. To reclaim these features, a mirrored approach to Mother Nature in terms of shaping and deposition sequence to ensure long-term stability and allow passive sustainable function was implemented. Nearly a decade of university-led research programs to examine a multitude of aspects for mine closure have been completed.

By the end of 2023, the De Beers Group Victor Mine is expected to be the first diamond mine in Canada to complete active closure, opening a new chapter of mining in Canada that will continue for at least the next two decades.

The closure and reclamation for Victor mine was the result of ongoing collaboration between De Beers, the Attawapiskat First Nation (AttFN), other communities in the region, and regulators. The ultimate goal was to ensure closure focused on sustainable practices for

all aspects of land rehabilitation, revegetation, waste management, habitat restoration, and partnerships for thriving communities.

“Our goal in closing Victor mine has always been to return the site to a natural state that is safe for people and animals,” says Erik Madsen, Lead – Corporate Affairs for De Beers Group Managed Operations, Canada. “We’re grateful for this award because it recognizes the long history of work and collaboration with Indigenous communities and regulators to develop a closure and reclamation plan that enables the responsible closure of Ontario’s first and only diamond mine.”

Following the end of active closure, long-term monitoring will continue until at least 2039.

Tom Peters was a founding member of the Canadian Land Reclamation Association CLRA and was a pioneer in Canadian mine reclamation. Following his death in 2007, the (CLRA) in cooperation with the Ontario Mining Association (OMA), the Ontario Ministry of Mines (MINES) and Vale established the Tom Peters Memorial Mine Reclamation Award to recognize outstanding achievement in the practice of mine reclamation in Ontario. The award encourages the pursuit of excellence in mine reclamation and recognizes and promotes outstanding achievement in the practice of mine reclamation in Ontario to the mining industry and environmental community at large.

26 CANADIAN RECLAMATION s Spring/Summer 2023
Coarse Processed Kimberlite and Low-Grade Ore Stockpile (CPK/LGO). Photo taken in summer of 2019 illustrating the stages of rehabilitation Old Growth (yellow), new growth (green) and freshly capped (brown). The brown is also an example of the technosol placed over the facilities.


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1975 Guelph, ON

1976 Guelph, ON

1977 Edmonton, AB

1978 Sudbury, ON

1979 Regina, SK

1980 Timmins, ON

1981 Cranbrook, BC

1982 Sydney, NS

1983 Waterloo, ON

1984 Calgary, AB

1985 Quebéc City, QC

1986 Vancouver, BC

1987 Sudbury, ON

1988 Ottawa, ON

1989 Calgary, AB

1990 Thetford Mines, QB

1991 Kamloops, BC

1992 Edmonton, AB

1993 Lindsay, ON

1994 Pittsburgh, PA

1995 Saskatoon, SK

1996 Calgary, AB

1997 Cranbrook, AB

1998 Markham, ON

1999 Saskatoon, SK

2000 Edmonton, AB

2001 Halifax, NS

2002 Dawson Creek, BC

2003 Sudbury, ON

2004 Victoria, BC

2005 Dawson City, YT

2006 Ottawa, ON

2007 Halifax, NS

2008 Kannanaskis Village, AB

2009 Quebéc City, QB

2010 Courtenay, BC

2011 Sudbury, ON

2012 Sydney, NS

2013 Whitehorse, YT

2014 Province of Quebéc

2015 Winnipeg, MB

2016 Timmins, ON

2017 Fort McMurray, AB

2018 Miramichi, NB

2019 Kimberley, BC

2020 Virtual

2021 Virtual

2022 Hybrid – Red Deer, AB




1983 Edward Watkin

1984 Bernard Brooks

1985 Paul Ziemkiewics

1986 Percy Sims

1987 Alex Ansel

1988 Terry Macyk

1989 Chris Powter

1990 David Walker

1991 B.C. Technical & Research Committee on Reclamation

1992 Daniel Boivin

1993 Alberta Environmental Protection, Land Reclamation Division

1994 Laurentian University, Biology Department

1995 David Lloyd

1996 Ann Smreicu

1997 Darlene Hergott

1998 Sherry Yundt

1999 No recipient

2000 Heather Sinton

2001 Kerby Lowen

2002 No recipient

2003 Bill Lautenbach

2004 Bob Hart

2005 Construction Aggregates Limited

2006 Martin Fung

2007 Bryan Tisch

2008 No recipient

2009 Fred Bonner

2009 David Hopper

2010 The Ontario Aggregate Resource Corporation

2011 Xstrata Nickel (Onaping)

2011 Xstrata Nickel (Falconbridge)

2012 Michele Coleman

2013 LRIGS, University of Alberta

2014 No recipient

2015 No recipient

2016 Dr. Peter Beckett

2017 Gordon Dinwoodie

2018 Linwood Dunham

2019 Western Sky Land Trust

2020 No recipient

2021 Marissa Reckmann


2016 Marie-Eve Marin

2017 Jennifer Buss

2018 Zachary McDougall

2019 Dinu Attalage

2020 No recipient

2021 Brandon Williams


1981 Jack Winch

1982 Phil Lulman

1983 Jack Thirgood

1984 Tom Peters

1985 Sarah Lowe

1986 No recipient

1987 Roger Berdusco

1988 Gordon Boutilier

1989 Edward Watkin

1990 Donald Klym

1991 Kieth Winterhalder

1992 Robert Michelutti

1993 Margarete Kalin

1994 No recipient

1995 Peter Beckett

1996 M. Anne Naeth

1997 No recipient

1998 Al Fedkenheuer

1999 Bob Gardiner

2000 Terry Macyk

2001 Chris Powter

2002 Martin Fung

2003 Sherry Yundt

2004 John Errington

2005 Carol Jones

2006 No recipient

2007 David Polster

2008 Bryan Tisch

2009 Line Rochefort

2010 Bill Price

2011 William Mackasey

2012 Robert Rutherford

2013 No recipient

2014 No recipient

2015 No recipient

2016 No recipient

2017 Bruce Anderson

2018 Michele Coleman

2019 No recipient

2020 No recipient

2021 Bob Pett (Individual)

2021 Nova Scotia Lands Inc. (Group)


2019 Stephanie Marshall

2020 Samantha McGarry

2021 Chris Tenszen

28 CANADIAN RECLAMATION s Fall/Winter 2022

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We are proud to host a joint conference between the Society for Ecological Restoration – Eastern Canada (SER-EC) and the Canadian Land Reclamation Association (CLRA) from June 11th to 15th, 2023, at the third year of the UN Decade of Ecosystem Restoration (2021-2030).

We are also excited to cooperate with the Ontario chapter of SER (SER-O), the Midwest Great Lakes Chapter of SER (SERMWGL), the Canadian chapter of the Society of Wetland Scientists (SWS Canada), the International Society for Horticultural Science (ISHS) and the International Peatland Society (IPS) to provide an enlarged scientific and field program.

The proposed theme of the conference for 2023 is “From Reclaiming to Restoring and Rewilding”. It aims to stimulate discussions about the range of environmental management approaches advocated by the hosting societies. Reclaiming is recognized and practiced by many industries, including mining and petrol extraction. Restoring is recognized most broadly around the world, and has been the focus of SER. Re-

wilding, or bringing back to nature, allows us to dream. These terms also imply ideas of industry, science, practice, society, and imagination. They run from the practical to the creative.

Since 2000, economic development and climate change have accelerated in temperate, boreal, and arctic regions of North America, and nature-based mitigation solutions, including ecological restoration, are in full expansion. As the boreal biome comprises close to 20% of wetlands in North America, we believe it is important to bring together, experts from SWS Canada and IPS to join members from CLRA and SER, for stimulating exchanges of knowledge, best practices, and new ideas. The conference will provide an excellent opportunity for all members, whether academic, private-sector or governmental stakeholders, to interact and to present the latest developments for reclaiming, restoring or rewilding diverse ecosystems, and to promote the understanding, the science-based management and the sustainability of organic soils use (wetlands, peatlands) in agriculture and soilless cultivation.

We have received 435 abstracts covering a wide range of topics and themes, and secured the presence of renowned experts in reclamation, restoration, and rewilding as keynote speakers. Technical workshops and training courses are also available for you to register. A wide variety of field tours are offered, and of various duration (pre-, during or post-conference). Get the opportunity to visit unique restoration or reclamation projects and meet the leading experts. On top of our regular program, several side events are also organized (UN Decade of Restoration, Future Leaders Academy, etc.).

The conference will be held mainly in English, but French-speaking people are welcome to present in the language of their choice.

This is the first time since the 2004 SER - CLRA conference in Victoria, BC, that all stakeholders involved in the management and restoration of degraded ecosystems are meeting again. So don’t miss this unique opportunity to learn from the latest science and practices in reclamation, restoration and rewilding, and meet new and former colleagues!

Register NOW on our website:

30 CANADIAN RECLAMATION s Spring/Summer 2023



Vertex has developed REMOTO, an automated monitoring system that uses Earth Observation data (aka remote sensing) to evaluate the success of land reclamation. With over 400,000 oil wells in operation, it can be challenging to monitor the ecological recovery of reclaimed sites.

REMOTO uses satellite imagery and field data to assess land cover conditions on the site and surrounding control areas. The results allow for consistent monitoring of reclamation success and the allocation of resources more efficiently.

By using Earth Observation data, REMOTO can quickly evaluate land cover conditions and identify sites that require additional reclamation efforts. REMOTO reduces the costs associated with reclamation monitoring significantly while improving the overall success of land reclamation efforts.

REMOTO offers a complete Earth Observation solution not only for your reclamation needs, but also for any other terrestrial and aquatic applications. Additional functionality includes mapping of padded/ unpadded sites, vegetation health assessment, lake water quality, burn areas, and land cover change assessment.

SATELLITE IMAGERY SITE SAMPLING PASS/FAIL RESULTS 1.844.783.7839 Lease area Buffer zone Control Area
Land cover information on lease area and surrounding control areas is derived from satellite imagery and in situ data to map which sites pass or fail reclamation certification. Locations of existing oil wells in Western Canada.
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Mapping of padded sites on different types of wetland.


The CLRA National 2023 Annual General Meeting is set to take place in Québec City as a part of the RE3 Conference on June 13, 2023, from 12:00 to 1:30 p.m. ET.

This event will be held in person during the conference as well as virtually. Meeting details and documents will be sent to registrants prior to the event. Registration is complimentary to attend the AGM only – register before June 9th to join in the conversation. If you are planning to attend the RE3 2023 Conference, registration is available at

32 CANADIAN RECLAMATION s Spring/Summer 2023
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Whiterock Ventures is an Edmonton based company that provides licensed transportation of Hazardous Waste throughout Western Canada. Other services include:

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• Whiterock provides safe, reliable ande cost effective solutions in transportation.

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Whiterock is an active member of ISNET, Comply Works, Avetta, COR, Alberta Sand and Gravel Association, Alberta Road Builders Association, and the CLRA.

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of key bryophyte and lichen species

useful in ecosystem restoration

Alaboratory and lecture course designed to train and describe the techniques and tools useful in the identification of some important species of bryophytes and lichens suitable in different ecosystem restoration.

The course will be given in two sub-groups (lichen and bryophyte lab), and the labs will be spatially organized by the identification group of interest. The training will be relaxed and individualized in parts with information points. The short lectures will include the infield characters and ecology of species followed by microscopic methods, which will consist of some sort, guided laboratory techniques with the instructors, helping and guiding the participants during the session. The training will be offered in English and French and will be hosted by the joint collaboration of Peatland Ecology Research Group and Louis-Marie Herbarium (Université Laval), along with the Quebec Bryological Society.

For this course, the following books are strongly recommended. They are not compulsory, but you can buy them now or they will be given to you on-site.

• Les sphaignes de l'Est du Canada - Clé d'identification visuelle et cartes de répartition (2019). Auteurs : Gilles Ayotte, Line Rochefort. ISBN: 9782924651995. En français (In French). Price: $ 60

• Sphagnum Mosses of Eastern Canada – Visual identification key and distribution maps (2021). Authors: Gilles Ayotte, Line Rochefort. ISBN: 9782897990930. In English. Price: $ 60.00 Price: $ 60.00Price: $ 60

• À la découverte des mousses et autres bryophytes du Québec (2022). Auteurs : Société québécoise de bryologie, Éditions NaturAT, 226 pages. En français (In French). Price: $ 39

Saturday, June 10th from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and unday, June 11th from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Université Laval, room TBA

Lead organizer: Aamir Shehzad Khan, PhD Student PERG/GRET- Université Laval Course Registration Fees: CAN $21

34 CANADIAN RECLAMATION s Spring/Summer 2023
CANADIAN RECLAMATION s Spring/Summer 2023 35 Understand the human impact on the environment and discover meaningful solutions for our ecosystems through hands-on learning experiences with Concordia University of Edmonton’s Environmental Science 3 or 4-year degrees. In and out of classrooms, translate what you learn with extraordinary field courses throughout Alberta and beyond in marine, freshwater and terrestrial ecology. Take the first steps to growing your career and changing the way we live. CHANGE the WAY WE Environmental Monitoring Assessment and Remediation Land Reclamation Water Resource and Water Quality Management Climate Change and Decarbonization Renewable Energy Development Conservation of Biodiversity and Natural Areas 800-873-3321 Restoring the native landscape email: Office: (403) 638-3636
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Steve Hoge R.T. • Planning, Coordination, and Reclamation Supervision • Phase I, II , III Environmental Site Assessments • Detailed Site Assessments • Reclamation Certificate Applications
(Ag.): 403-348-3250


SWS Canada at RE3 in Quebec City

The Society of Wetland Scientists is an international organization that advocates for wetland research, restoration, preservation and education. The Canadian chapter of SWS Canada has been recently revived, with a new logo, and we’re looking forward to finally connecting with wetland practitioners, academics and students in-person at RE3 in Quebec City. We’re excited that Dr. Musonda Mumba will be participating in the conference; Dr. Mumba is the Secretary General of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands.

SWS Canada is planning several activities to support broad and specific interests in wetlands at RE3:

• Look for the SWS Canada symposium on wetland offsetting (The Intent and Implementation of Wetland Offsetting in the Mitigation Hierarchy), with speakers from Canada and the US.

• There will be a presentation on how to become an accredited Professional Wetland Scientist through SWS (tbd). The PWS accreditation is international and applies to anyone who practices wetland science.

Rewilding Canada, one forest at

The Society of Wetland Scientists is an international organization that advocates for wetland research, restoration, preservation and education. The Canadian chapter of SWS Canada has been recently revived, with a new logo, and we’re looking forward to finally connecting with wetland practitioners, academics and students in-person at RE3 in Quebec City. We’re excited that Dr. Musonda Mumba will be participating in the conference; Dr. Mumba is the Secretary General of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands.

• The annual meeting for SWS Canada will take place at RE3 during the lunch hour on June 15; this meeting is our first meeting as a society in many years, and we are seeking feedback on our goals and governance.

SWS Canada is planning several activities to support broad and specific interests in wetlands at RE3:

• SWS Canada will be hosting a booth in the exhibitor section of the conference. Please stop by to get more information about SWS and our activities at the conference, to sign up for SWS, or just to chat. We will be having a draw for three free student memberships at the booth.

• Look for the SWS Canada symposium on wetland offsetting (The Intent and Implementation of Wetland Offsetting in the Mitigation Hierarchy), with speakers from Canada and the US.

• There will be a presentation on how to become an accredited Professional Wetland Scientist through SWS (tbd) The PWS accreditation is international and applies to anyone who practices wetland science.

• The annual meeting for SWS Canada will take place at RE3 during the lunch hour on June 15; this meeting is our first meeting as a society in many years, and we are seeking feedback on our goals and governance.

The SWS Canada board: Susan Glasauer, President; Nicole Wright, Vice-President; Mary Ann Perron, Secretary/Treasurer

• SWS Canada will be hosting a booth in the exhibitor section of the conference. Please stop by to get more information about SWS and our activities at the conference, to sign up for SWS, or just to chat. We will be having a draw for three free student memberships at the booth

36 CANADIAN RECLAMATION s Spring/Summer 2023
a time.
grow a forever forest together.
| (780)
Project Forest transforms non-productive fields into forests, resulting in cleaner air and water, increased habitat and biodiversity and restoring sacred plants on Indigenous lands.
Schedule a call to learn more:


The aim of the International Society for Horticultural Science (ISHS) is “ promote and encourage research and education in all branches of horticultural science and to facilitate cooperation and knowledge transfer on a global scale through its symposia and congresses, publica¬tions and scientific structure.” Membership is open to all interested researchers, educators, students, and horticultural industry professionals.

The ISHS is a truly global network comprising over 67,000 individuals, universities, governments, institutions, libraries, and commercial companies, thousands of whom joined as Individual Members, in addition to a substantial number of Institutional Members and some 50 Member Countries/Regions.

ISHS members will be at the upcoming RE3 Conference in Quebec, as part of the conference’s expanded scientific and field program.


If you have not joined, now is your opportunity!

More details on ISHS membership, including an online application form, are available at


Tundra will work with you to determine the most efficient, cost-effective and safest drilling method for planning your next drilling program.


• 4”, 6”and 8” Solid Stem • 3 .25”, 4.25” and 6 5/8” Hollow Stem

• Piezometer Installs • Laskey Core Sampling • HQ3 Coring • ODEX

• HWT Casing Advancer • Mud & Air Rotary Sampling • Concrete coring

• Standard Penetration Sampling (SPTs) • Vibrating Wire Installs

• SI installs • Shear Vane Testing • Shelby Tube • Pitcher Sampler

• Grouting • Well Decommissioning/Abandonments

Office: 403.742.6601 • MOB equipment and crews from Stettler • MOB equipment is negotiable, dependent ON PROJECT

CANADIAN RECLAMATION s Spring/Summer 2023 37


Vegetation needs healthy soils that contain abundant microbial activity, proper organic matter content, and nutrients in order to thrive.

Biotic Earth BSA (Biotic Soil Amendment) improves both germination expression and establishment, and long-term vegetation survivability. Close out projects faster and increase success rates on your sites by choosing the only Biotic Soil Amendment with a guaranteed 2-year product viability.

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Including sites with low organic matter, where existing soils have poor water holding capacity, and sites without proper microbial life in the soil.

When compared to other methods of soil improvement, Biotic Earth applies faster and more cost-effectively.

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It’s all in the bag—no separate additives are needed in order for Biotic Earth to effectively amend soils on your jobsite.

Reduces Cost and Installation Time Speed and Ease

Reduce your time on your job! Biotic Earth is simple to load, installs quickly, and results in faster germination and project closeout. All of these features make it ideal for use on difficult-to-reach or remote sites.

Easy to Specify and Apply

With no separate amendments, a fixed-application rate, and high tank-loading (one bag per 40 gallons of water), Biotic Earth is one of the easiest BSAs to both specify and install on your project.


Biotic Earth is a Biotic Soil Amendment that can be hydraulically applied or hand-broadcasted, used to create proper soil conditions to sustain long-term plant growth and survivability. This is a bagged and concentrated product that innoculates the soil with correct and sufficient ratios of beneficial bacteria and fungus. Biotic Earth selects for both short-term and long-term vegetation growth.

Soil is a critical resource. Its management can improve or degrade that resource’s quality. Soil is a complex ecosystem where living plant roots and microorganisms bind organic matter and mineral particles together into a dynamic and progressive structure regulating nutrients, air and water infiltration.

Nutrient cycling is the process by which beneficial microorganisms collect nutrients from soil organic matter. On a molecular level, these microorganisms allow plants to directly access nutrients such as phosphorus, potassium, iron, boron, calcium, and more.

During photosynthesis, plants produce simple sugars, transforming solar energy into chemical energy. They then transfer a significant portion of these sugars, and its latent chemical energy, to the bacteria and fungi species in the soil. The plant is effectively investing in these microbes to later utilize the nutrients they provide. This entire nutrient cycling process is only found in soils with sufficient microorganisms to sustain plant life. This process is a critical factor in for successfully establishing vegetation, and increasing plant survivability and longevity.

For deficient soils, the only way to encourage nutrient cycling is by introducing the correct Fungal to Bacteria ratio (F:B) and mycorrhizae in the soil. This nutrient cycling, and the benefits it provides, is important on all sites—regardless of location, or project type: revegetation, reclamation, restoration, and landscaping.

Biotic Earth was created with these principles in mind. Backed by over a decade of successes, this product improves vegetation, both in the short-term and for years to come.



Affiliations: University of Calgary1, Fort McKay First Nation2, Donald Functional & Applied Ecology Inc3. University of Waterloo4


Reclamation and closure principles, best practice, and human rights instruments are increasingly acknowledging that local communities hold inherent rights to be part of the decision-making processes that affect them. For instance, Indigenous Peoples’ socio-cultural relationship to and dependence on their traditional territories and traditional land use practices are recognized internationally, through the United Nation Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act (UNDRIP) (UN 2007), Article 8(j) of the United Nation (UN) Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) (UN 1992), and most recently through the COP15 and the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (UNEP 2022). In Canada, Indigenous Peoples have constitutionally affirmed and legally protected rights to maintain their identity and to participate in decision making where those rights may be infringed upon (Constitution Act s35 1982). Careful and effective mine closure and reclamation planning and monitoring that includes participatory and inclusive processes has the potential to support the renewal of cultural landscapes and to re-establish traditional land use capability on reclaimed lands for affected Indigenous communities, like Fort McKay First Nation,

to exercise Indigenous and Treaty Rights within their traditional territories.

Fort McKay First Nation (Fort McKay) has a deep, multi-generational connection and responsibility to protect and conserve their homelands in Treaty 8, Alberta, Canada which they have been living off from time immemorial (Figure 1). Historically and today, Fort McKay practice traditional activities, including hunting of large and small game, fishing, trapping furbearers, harvesting waterfowl eggs, plants and medicines, ceremonies and keeping their spiritual connection to their traditional territory (Figure 2). As such, the sustainability of their culture is rooted in their traditional lands and waters. While Fort McKay’s relationship to their homelands and traditional practices are protected in Canada, Cree and Dënesuliné (herein Dene) band and community members are faced with ongoing industrial impacts, both positive and negative, from oil sands activities which began in the mid1960s (Figure 1).

Oil sands mine operators are required to follow Specified Enactment Direction (SED) 003 to write a life of mine closure plan (LMCP) (AER 2018). In that directive, it says LMCPs must describe how:

• Stakeholder feedback and traditional land use information from local Indigenous communities is integrated into mine reclamation outcomes; and

• Those outcomes safely support traditional end land uses.

SED 003 and Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act (EPEA) approvals also require mine operators to use the Guidelines for Reclamation to Forest Vegetation in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region (AENV 2010) as amended.

This article is based on PhD research conducted by Christine Daly and Fort McKay co-researchers as part of the Co-Reclamation Project, where the objectives were:

• To summarize the state of knowledge in oil sands mine closure consultation, engagement, and traditional land use (herein TLU) planning to understand how cultural landscapes and relationships are being renewed;

• To evaluate how operators comply with SED 003 and if the outcomes for TLU are determined by industry and/or Fort McKay; and

• To recommend next steps where critical gaps still exist.

40 CANADIAN RECLAMATION s Spring/Summer 2023
By Christine A. Daly1, Jean L’Hommecourt2, Gillian Donald3, Marie Boucher Gabe Desjarlais2, Martha Grandjambe2, Ryan Grandjambe2, Dora L’Hommecourt2, Edith Orr2, Bori Arrobo2, Alexandra Davies Post4, Dan McCarthy4, and S. Craig Gerlache1


A qualitative method was adapted from Monosky and Keeling (2021) for a systematic review and document analysis of TLU planning in mine closure and reclamation at seven oil sands mine projects operating in the traditional territory of Fort McKay (see green polygons in Figure 1). Method development occurred with a sub-set of Fort McKay and university co-researchers, specifically Fort McKay staff and a technical advisor. They designed an evaluation of how a “Two-Roads Approach” was used as the overarching strategy and framework in mine closure and reclamation planning. Where the Two-Roads Approach is a methodology previously de-

veloped by Fort McKay, other Indigenous communities, the Alberta Government, and oil sands operators to enable participatory planning processes that include Indigenous Peoples and their Indigenous Knowledge (IK) in oil sands reclamation planning. For more details see Two Roads Research Team (2011, 2012) and L’Hommecourt et al. (2022). Draft results were revised and confirmed using personal communication with Fort McKay co-researchers through phone and video conference calls and emails with a sub-set of Fort McKay co-researchers and a verification and validation workshop with all Fort McKay co-researchers in Fort McKay in July 2022.


Oil sands mine operators are required to follow Specified Enactment Direction (SED) 003 to write a life of mine closure plan (LMCP) (AER 2018). In that directive, it says LMCPs must describe how:

Our systemic review of TLU planning in oil sands mine closure and reclamation at oil sands mine projects operating in the Fort McKay Traditional Territory found little evidence that consultation and engagement with local Indigenous communities in LMCPs was guided by principles and actions toward truth and reconciliation (Table 1; TRCC 2015a, b). There was no reference to, and little evidence of the application of the TRCC principles (2015b) or of the UNDRIP (UN 2007) in the LMCPs. One exception was the inclusion of Indigenous Peoples in two of the LMCPs through advisory committees. Acknowledgement of the loss and grief

• stakeholder feedback and traditional land use information from local Indigenous communities is integrated into mine reclamation outcomes; and

• those outcomes safely support traditional end land uses.

SED 003 and Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act (EPEA) approvals also require mine operators to use the Guidelines for Reclamation to Forest Vegetation in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region (AENV 2010) as amended.

CANADIAN RECLAMATION s Spring/Summer 2023 41
Figure 1 - (Left) A birds-eye view of the oil sands industrial footprint within the Fort McKay Traditional Territory (white line) in 1967, the year oil sands activities started, and (right) present day. Pink are Fort McKay First Nation reserve lands, green are active oil sands projects, red are proposed or approved but not yet operating projects , and orange is primarily oil and gas exploration footprint. (Map Credit: Fort McKay First Nation). Figure 2 – Co-Researchers experiencing traditional land uses, such as berry picking (left) and fishing (centre) at Moose Lake. A Fort McKay community member gathers traditional plants from the boreal forest (Right). Photo credits: Christine Daly, Alex Davies Post and Fort McKay First Nation. Figure 1 - (Left) A birds-eye view of the oil sands industrial footprint within the Fort McKay Traditional Territory (white line) in 1967, the year oil sands activities started, and (right) present day. Pink are Fort McKay First Nation reserve lands, green are active oil sands projects, red are proposed or approved but not yet operating projects, and orange is primarily oil and gas exploration footprint. (Map Credit: Fort McKay First Nation). Figure 2 – Co-Researchers experiencing traditional land uses, such as berry picking (left) and fishing (centre) at Moose Lake. A Fort McKay community member gathers traditional plants from the boreal forest (Right). Photo credits: Christine Daly, Alex Davies Post and Fort McKay First Nation.

local Indigenous Peoples experience for their altered traditional territories, family memories, and impacted traditions was not present in the LMCPs. A limitation of current provincial policy is that SED 003 does not have a truth and reconciliation requirement component, so these planning outcomes were not unexpected. While it may not be possible technically or economically to re-establish the original conditions of the Fort McKay Traditional Territory, Fort McKay co-researchers

recommend that the original peoples and conditions of the land be acknowledged and that industry planners exercise openness and creativity so that reclaimed cultural landscapes are “as similar as possible”. This is a reconciliation action that shows respect for Fort McKay and their relationship with the land (see Daly et al. 2022 for more details) and aligns with Canada’s position on truth and reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canada toward an honourable future (TRCC

The Professional Vegetation Management Association (PVMA) was officially formed in 1978 as a response to rapidly increasing public concern over environmental issues and a fast growing number of stakeholders in the industry. Originally formed to provide a collective method of problem solving, we have evolved to take a more proactive approach to constantly emerging vegetation management issues.

2015b). Reclamation is proposed by operators as the sole mitigation measure for land disturbance, and by proxy, loss and grief associated with land disturbance. An advancement in planning and adaptive management would be to broaden the understanding of what needs to be mitigated and how land reclamation will accomplish this. Therefore, we recommend that SED 003 is revised to: (1) align with national and international truth and reconciliation (TRCC 2015 a,b) and human rights (UN 2007) obligations; and (2) support the establishment of local Indigenous advisory committees for each of the operating mines. In this way, local IK holders and land uses can guide this broader understanding of reclamation planning towards truth and reconciliation and the reestablishment of TLUs.


Our members are:

• Vegetation management

• Utilities

• Oil and gas exploration and production

• Municipal government

• Pipelines

• Railways

• Transportation infrastructure

• Forestry

• Chemical companies

Through our members, we promote technological advancements and develop high professional standards for industrial vegetation management. We offer professional development seminars, design college-level curriculum, produce educational videos, create training programs, conduct major research projects, and present a collective voice to the public and government.

For many years, Fort McKay and other Indigenous communities have requested participatory reclamation planning processes and co-creation of TLU methods, measures of success, and planning guidelines for mine closure and reclamation to support operators with reclaiming their homelands and TLUs (e.g., GOA 2012; Two Roads Research Team 2011, 2012). Yet, our review found that most of the LMCPs held limited or no evidence that local Indigenous communities’ questions, concerns, and Indigenous Knowledge were adequately captured and informed closure and reclamation decisions (see Table 1). For instance, Horizon documented local community concerns (e.g., loss of land and water for TLU activities; change in abundance and distribution of traditional use resources; lack of inclusion of cultural values, etc.) but only responded with broad statements that they follow the regulatory processes and guidelines and feedback will be integrated into future reclamation and closure plan iterations. These outcomes may be the result of a lack of process to include Indigenous Peoples and IK (e.g., advisory committee) in their closure and reclamation planning process. This current disconnect illustrates that as part of the delegated duty of Crown Con-

42 CANADIAN RECLAMATION s Spring/Summer 2023
Consulting with government on regulatory issues
Developing operating standards
Delivering safety, environment, and training programs
Communicating information to members PO Box 5468 Leduc, AB T9E 6L7 1.877.249.1508 |

Is there evidence Indigenous Nations received funding for the consultation and/or to conduct an independent technical review of the plan?

Is there evidence of an intercultural, multi-perspective and multi-way of knowing learning process?

Is there an acknowledgement of the loss and grief local Nations feel for their altered traditional territories, landbased memories

Is there evidence the relationship with local Indigenous Nations is guided by principles of truth and reconciliation?

Is there evidence Indigenous Nations’ questions, concerns and IK were addressed in a manner that resulted in closure plan decisions?

Does the Plan have a closure vision, which is a mine closure best practice?

sultation, Alberta oil sands mine companies are making decisions about mine closure and reclamation goals, target land uses, and reclamation design and timelines, while excluding local Indigenous communities, their unique worldviews and rights, and relevant local Indigenous Knowledge (L’Hommecourt et al., 2022; Two Roads Research Team, 2011). Through EPEA, the LMCPs are considered submissions, not applications, which means there is no obligation from mine operators to do engagement. The current position of industry and the provincial Crown government is for consultation to occur at the front end of a project through the regulatory process. After the projects are approved there is limited consultation or engagement based on ad hoc activities defined by industry and a lack of systematic processes to include Fort McKay and their concerns, needs, rights, and IK in planning decision-making. Similar trends

are visible across the global mining sector (e.g., Bond and Kelly, 2020; Monosky and Keeling, 2021).

Where TLU tools and information exist to support planning for sustainable cultural landscapes, they were consistently underutilized or disregarded completely during LMCP development. For instance, where traditional plant species were named by Fort McKay in the regional guidance documents (i.e., AENV 2010), only a small selection of each was incorporated into LMCP planting prescriptions by the mine operators (Daly 2023). In another example, a TLU decision-flow chart designed to provide guidance for working with Indigenous knowledge holders and land users and the incorporation of IK in oil sands reclamation planning and processes (Piorecky and Murphy 2016) was not referenced as being applied to plan for post-closure landscapes by any of the

seven oil sands mines (Daly 2023). This is especially notable because application of this tool is a regulatory requirement. Mine operators are required by their EPEA operating approval regulations to “comply with the Guidelines for Reclamation to Forest Revegetation in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region, 2009, as amended” (e.g., AER 2014 p. 71). Reclamation Planning for Establishing Multiple Use Forests on Alberta Oil Sands Mines (Piorecky and Murphy 2016) is an amendment to this reclamation revegetation guideline and recommends use of this TLU tool. Instead, the drivers for decision-making in these LMCPs were regulatory policy, directives, approval requirements, and western science-focused guidance documents and methods that do not include complementary and inclusive Indigenous ways of knowing, learning, and working as a good practice (Daly 2023). These re-

align with Fort McKay co-researchers

CANADIAN RECLAMATION s Spring/Summer 2023 43
Research Questions Mildred Lake & Aurora North Base Plant Fort Hills Horizon Jackpine Mine Kearl Muskeg River Was TLU selected as an end land use for any reclamation landform? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes What method did the operator use to define the TLU outcome? Ecosite classification & key wildlife habitat Ecosite classification & key wildlife habitat Ecosite classification & key wildlife habitat Ecosite classification & key wildlife habitat Ecosite classification & key wildlife habitat Ecosite classification & key wildlife habitat Ecosite classification & key wildlife habitat
Table 1 – A subset of the original fifteen traditional land use research questions and analyzed responses for the seven oil sands mines operating in the Fort McKay Traditional Territory.
Yes –consultation, No - for technical review No No No No No Noconsultation, Unclear - for a technical review
Limited – use of Cree and Dene languages to name reclaimed land Limited – use of Cree and Dene languages to name reclaimed land Yesan Indigenous advisory committee applied a multipleways of knowing model No No Limited – an Indigenous advisory committee focused on cultural land connection, more holistic planning No
and traditions? Limitedacknowledged environmental, socioeconomic impacts to stakeholders No No No No No No
No No Limited –an Indigenous advisory committee No No Limited –an Indigenous advisory committee, acknowledged the land is “traditional territory” No
Limited (See
Limited (See Daly
Limited (See Daly 2023 for
No (See Daly 2023 for details) Yes (See Daly 2023 for details) Yes (See Daly 2023 for details) Limited (See Daly 2023 for details)
Daly 2023
No –but
consultation No –but the goal was
No –but the goal was
Nobut the goal was for
No –but the goal was for self-sustaining, &
No –but the goal was for selfsustaining, & equivalent capability Nobut the goal was for certification, selfsustaining, equivalent capability, & value to stakeholders
the goal was for self-sustainable, equivalent capability, &
for certification
for certification
land, & self-sustaining
selfsustaining, & equivalent capability
equivalent capability

sentiments that they don’t feel represented in LMCPs. One Fort McKay co-researcher summed up oil sands mine closure and reclamation planning as, “time and time again in meetings with industry we hear that government had approved the sites or the activity. The companies effectively just come and tell the community what they are doing without providing any opportunities for influencing what is being done.” There were a few notable exceptions and examples of listening and acting on specific community concerns and shared IK to make creative new design decisions. For instance, the Jackpine Mine noted local community concerns with copious amounts of try landscapes in a naturally wetland dominant landscape and the use of many pit lakes in an earlier plan. Their revised plan now contains more wetlands and less pit lakes.

Consultation, engagement, and mine closure and reclamation good practices that were evident in at least one or more of the

plans and that should be applied consistently across all operating projects were: transparent communication; acknowledging the original peoples of the land and the traditional territory; capacity funding for consultation and independent expert review; planning for TLU as an end land use; inclusion of Indigenous Peoples through advisory committees; inclusion of Indigenous languages and Indigenous knowledge systems; and acknowledgement of the impacts to affected communities and their lands and waters. Our study aligns with past recommendations from the Two Roads Research Team (2011, 2012) that are noted and ongoing gaps since 2012. These opportunities for partnerships and improved relationships include monitoring reclaimed sites using parallel and complementary Indigenous-led monitoring models (see Davies Post et al. 2023 for details), as well as revising or creating new reclamation planning guidance documents that contain detailed TLU planning methods,

trajectories, and reclamation certification targets with the support of local Elders, land users, and other IK holders. While a workplan exists to advance many of these gaps and partnership opportunities (The Community Liaison Research Team 2013), and the Joint Panel Review Panel Decision Statement (AER 2019) for the Teck Frontier Mine noted that such guidance documents should be created to address Fort McKay’s recommendation for mitigation of regional cumulative effects to their traditional territory, funding has not been provided by regional reclamation and land use committees (e.g., COSIA, LARP).

Ultimately, this review determined that mine closure and reclamation outcomes are determined by industry and not by Fort McKay for their homelands. A review of the literature found that some of the current barriers to participatory and inclusive mine closure and reclamation processes include a lack of instruction


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manuals, tools, training, and case studies to explain how to execute planning with – and not for – local communities on social and cultural dimensions (e.g., Bond and Kelly 2020; Morrison-Saunders 2019; ICMM 2019; Unger et al 2019). Intercultural collaboration principles developed during the Co-Reclamation Project (Daly et al. 2022) and application of the TwoRoads Approach in early parts of this work (L’Hommecourt et al. 2022), combined with the TLU planning gaps identified by this review, emphasize that affected Indigenous Peoples, like Fort McKay, and their IK need to be recognized and included in planning. Collectively, these project outcomes inspired a new framework for inclusive and participatory planning with Fort McKay (See Figure 3). A new mine closure and reclamation planning framework, like this, and paradigm are needed to systematically support oil sands projects’ ability to mitigate impacts to FMFN homelands and Canada’s ability to meet it national and international obligations with respect to indigenous rights and reconciliation. Likewise, SED 003 should be revised to recognize the human rights, truth and reconciliation, and self-determination of Fort McKay for their homelands and not only western science experts, knowledge, and processes and benefits for industry. Together, new and existing inclusive, intercultural planning tools and updated provincial policy can support reconciliation action and the renewal of cultural landscapes and homelands for Fort McKay who will live with the post-closure reclaimed landscape outcomes for generations.

Figure 3 – The Two-Roads Reclamation & Reconciliation Framework is a partially validated framework designed to support the understanding of plural knowledge systems, the inclusion of diverse information and perspectives from an Indigenous community and oil sands company(s) at key planning bridges, and actions toward a just oil sands mine closure and reclamation process with mutual post-closure landscape benefits for all. Source: Daly 2023.


Funding was provided by the Alberta Conservation Association, University of Calgary scholarships, and an energy company tuition award. Research operated with university ethics approval and following the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans (TCPS).


[AER] Alberta Energy Regulatory. 2014. AER Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act R.S.A 2000, c.E-12, as amended, Approval No. 151469-01-00 for the Fort Hills Energy Corporation. Released on November 18, 2014. Edmonton (AB): AER. pdf/00151469-01-00.pdf

[AER] Alberta Energy Regulator. 2018. Specific Enactment Direction 003, Direction for conservation and reclamation submissions under an environmental protection and enhancement act approval for mineable oil sands sites. Calgary (AB): Alberta Energy Regulator. documents/manuals/Direction_003.pdf

AER. 2019. Report on the Joint Review Panel established by the Federal Minister of Environemnt and Climate Change and the Alberta Energy Regulator, Decision ABAER 008: Teck Resources Limited, Frontier Oil Sands Mine Project, Fort McMurray Area. documents/p65505/131106E.pdf .

[AENV] Alberta Environment. 2010. Guidelines for reclamation to forest vegetation in the Athabasca Oil Sands region,


CANADIAN RECLAMATION s Spring/Summer 2023 45

2nd ed (Revegetation Manual). Edmonton (AB): Prepared by the Terrestrial Subgroup of CEMA. publications/9780778588252

Bond C, Kelly L. 2020. Returning land to country: Indigenous engagement in mined land closure and rehabilitation. Australian Journal of Management, 46(1), 174-92.

Constitution Act, 1982, section 35, Part II, being Schedule B to the Canada Act 1982 (UK), 1982, c 11.

Daly CA. 2023. Exploring co-reclamation: gesturing towards intercultural collaboration and the renewal of Indigenous cultural landscapes after oil sands extraction in the Fort McKay First Nation Traditional Territory, Treaty 8, Alberta, Canada (Unpublished doctoral thesis). University of Calgary, Calgary, AB. https://prism.

Daly C, L’Hommecourt J, Arrobo B, Davies-Post A, McCarthy D, Donald G,

Gerlach SC, Lertzman DA. 2022. Gesturing toward co-visioning: a new approach for intercultural mine reclamation and closure planning. Int J Architecton Spat Environ Des. 16(1):11-32. Doi:10.18848/2325-1662/CGP/v16i01/1132

Davies Post A, Grandjambe R, L’Hommecourt J, Daly CA, Donald G, Arrobo B, McCarthy D. 2023. Indigenous-led Monitoring, Guardian Programs, and Opportunities for Reclamation Monitoring Partnerships. Reclamation Matters (Spring).

[GOA] Government of Alberta. 2012. Lower Athabasca regional plan, 20122022. Edmonton (AB): Government of Alberta.

Holcombe S, Elliott V, Keeling A, Berryman M, Hall R, Ngaamo R, Beckett C, Moon W, Hudson M, Kusabs N, Ross River Lands Office. 2022. Indigenous Exchange

Forum: transitions in mine closure. St Lucia: Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining, University of Queensland.

[ICMM] International Council on Mining & Metals. 2019. Integrated Mine Closure: Good Practice Guide, 2nd Edition. London: ICMM. society-and-the-economy/mine-closure/ planning-for-integrated-mining-closure L’Hommecourt J, Boucher M, Desjarlais G, Grandjame J, Grandjambe M, L’Hommecourt D, Ladouceur J, Mercer C, Mercer D, Orr E, et al. 2022. A two-roads approach to co-reclamation: centring Indigenous voices and leadership in Canada’s energy transition. Canadian Institute for Climate Choices.

Monosky M, Keeling A. 2021. Planning for Social and Community-Engaged Closure: A Comparison of Mine Closure Plans from Canada’s Territorial and Provincial North. Journal of Environmental

46 CANADIAN RECLAMATION s Spring/Summer 2023
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Management 277:111324. https://doi. org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2020.111324.

Morrison-Saunders, Angus. “The action is where the social is! The ecosystem services concept and other ideas for enhancing stakeholder engagement in integrated mine closure planning.” Paper presented at the 13th International Conference on Mine Closure, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, September 3-5, 2019. rep/1915_02_Morrison-Saunders

[OSMELUC] Oil Sands Mining End LandUse Committee. 1998. Oil Sands End Land Use Committee: Report and recommendations. Edmonton (AB): Alberta Environment. posting.asp?assetid=6856&categoryid=9.

Piorecky M, Murphy S. 2016. Reclamation planning for establishing multiple use forest on Alberta oil sands mines. Fort Murray (AB): CEMA Reclamation Working Group. Contract No. 2015-0003. https://

[TRCC] Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. 2015a. Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action. Winnipeg (MB): University of Manitoba.

TRCC. 2015b. What we have learned, principles of truth and reconciliation. Winnipeg (MB): University of Manitoba.

Two Roads Research Team. 2011 An Aboriginal Road to Reclamation: a Study Summary for Aboriginal

Communities of the Oil Sands Region. Edmonton (AB): CEMA Reclamation Working Group by Simmons, D. & SENES Consultants Ltd. CEMA Contract No. 2010-0022. archives/archives-program/finding-aids/ cema-reports.html.

Two Roads Research Team. 2012. An

Aboriginal road to reclamation: values, goals and action for a homeland in the Oil Sands Region. Edmonton (AB): CEMA Reclamation Working Group by Simmons, D. & SENES Consultants Ltd. CEMA Contract No. 2010-0022.

[UN] United Nations. 1992. Convention on Biological Diversity. Montreal (QC): Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity. cbd-en.pdf

UN 2007. United Nations declaration on the rights of Indigenous peoples. Resolution adopted by the United Nations General Assembly. docid/471355a82.html.

Unger CJ, Everingham J, Bond CJ. 2020. Transition or Transformation: Shifting Priorities and Stakeholders in Australian Mined Land Rehabilitation and Closure. Australasian Journal of Environmental Management, 27(1), 84–113. https://doi.or g/10.1080/14486563.2020.1719440

CANADIAN RECLAMATION s Spring/Summer 2023 47
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Remediation efforts at the former Gunnar Mine and Mill Site reached a new milestone last spring—with the first stage of revegetation coming to fruition.

Located on the north shore of Lake Athabasca, the long-abandoned uranium mine and mill has undergone a large environmental transformation over the past decade.

This remediation work is directed by SRC’s Environmental Remediation team and executed by local contractors. Gunnar is part of Project CLEANS (Cleanup of Abandoned Northern Sites)—a multi-year project focused on remediating 37 uranium mines in northern Saskatchewan that were abandoned by the companies that operated them in the 1950s and 1960s.

A cover system was constructed for Gunnar’s largest tailings areas over a five-year period. This cover, made of local material, was designed to contain the 4.4 million tonnes of tailings left behind from uranium processing. In September 2021, the

cover was seeded with a custom mix of vegetation to prevent erosion.

In Spring 2022, SRC observed seed germination—a sign that new growth is coming back to the area for the first time in 60 years.


Michael Bendzsak is a Registered Professional Forester and Research Scientist in SRC’s Environment and Biotech Division. Over the years, Bendzsak has worked on various remediation projects for SRC.

“My background is a silviculture forester, and I’m very interested in working with natural processes to restore ecosystem function, while providing societal benefits,” says Bendzsak.

With over 20 years of experience, Bendzsak’s background has mainly been in forest management and applied forest research. His work in forest renewal has recently expanded to reclamation efforts.


Revegetation is one important step of the remediation process. Re-establishing local vegetation growth is critical to maintaining the protective tailings cover, while also facilitating the return of wildlife and encouraging plant diversity.

The Project CLEANS team consulted with local Indigenous Elders on selecting plant species and techniques and spent time in the field together. Elders provided input on plants that grow in the region and are used by Indigenous people. This information helped guide the selection of native plants to seed.

Hardy plant varieties are key to stabilizing the Project CLEANS sites and rehabilitating the ecosystem.

“In the case of Gunnar, emphasis is placed on promoting early successional plant communities—grasses in particular—to stabilize the site and allow other native vegetation to naturally re-populate the area,” says Bendzsak.

48 CANADIAN RECLAMATION s Spring/Summer 2023
Aerial perspective of a revegetated tailings field at the Gunnar Mine and Mill Site in July 2022. Copyright SRC.

To establish the regrowth of native plants, SRC needed to cultivate the right environment at Gunnar. Once the soil cover was established, it was seeded with different varieties of native grasses. This was done before the first snowfall of 2021 to give the seeds ample moisture and time for germination in the spring.

After lying dormant for the winter, these seeds successfully sprouted in 2022— marking an exciting first step in the revegetation process.

SRC will continue this work for several years.

“As remediation work is completed, new areas will be ready for revegetation,” says Bendzsak. “This past fall, revegetation work focused on seeding the mine’s former waste rock piles and infrastructure areas.”


Revegetation provides a continuous green cover of the engineered surfaces, preventing cover materials from eroding. The root systems of the seeded grasses will help keep the soil and gravel in place, extending the lifespan of the covering that encapsulates the tailings area.

Bendzsak says these hardy grasses are capable of incredible work.

“Seeded grasses actively anchor the cover with their root systems and are dynamic in that they can ‘self-repair’ in the event of an unforeseen future soil disturbance,” Bendzsak says.

Over time, the Gunnar Site will be naturally re-populated by shrubs and trees, bringing it closer to its former natural state.


The Gunnar Mine and Mill Site consists of anthroposols—soils that have been drastically changed by human activity. Con-

struction of the uranium mine profoundly disrupted the natural ecosystem and altered the soil profiles in the surrounding area.

Bendzsak says it’s not possible to undo all the past disturbances and restore the area to its pre-mining days. However, the remediation process introduces new soil profiles that cover the damage.

“We have also tasked these novel soils to mimic and support ecosystem function. It’s a tall order,” says Bendzsak.

The grasses and other plants chosen for the revegetation process help to kick-start new life into the area. The deep-rooted grass initiates soil carbon cycling while other plants, like legumes, fix atmospheric nitrogen to help future plant communities grow and thrive.

In time, the soil carbon and available nitrogen will increase and support a diverse and developing ecosystem.


SRC took a creative approach to the revegetation project.

The Gunnar Mine and Mill Site is in a very remote area of northern Saskatchewan. The site can only be accessed by a winter

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Plot seeder used for revegetation at Gunnar. Copyright SRC. Photos courtesy of SRC. to learn more about
aqueous and soil
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sediment, tissue,

road. Without that road, all supplies and personnel must be flown or barged in.

Gunnar’s isolated location poses several challenges to the remediation effort and makes it difficult to tackle revegetation using traditional methods.

“One of the more common revegetation methods, called hydroseeding, focuses on using specialized heavy machinery to blanket a given area with a hydraulic slurry of mulch and seed,” says Bendzsak. “It’s a popular method, as the mulch provides a good germinating environment, and plant responses to it are well known.”

But using this method at Gunnar would’ve required massive amounts of mulch and large volumes of water. Transporting machinery and supplies would have been incredibly difficult and quite costly.

SRC decided to use a different approach based on Bendzsak’s previous work.

“The previous research plots we established onsite showed it’s possible to establish native vegetation communities directly on freshly placed glacial till,” Bendzsak says. “We found native plant communities to be resilient and capable of establishing on these challenging sites, with a little help from slow-release fertilizers.”

Bendzsak and the team used two small plot seeders to revegetate the tailings area. First, they applied a top dressing of fertilizer. The fertilizer was incorporated into the soil to lock it in place and reduce runoff. A seed mixture was applied on top of the fertilized cover and tamped down into the soil.


SRC’s direct seeding approach was successful, and early observations have Bendzsak optimistic.

While most of the large tailing areas have

been covered and seeded, and show successful growth, there’s still work to be done. Abandoned infrastructure—that supported the old uranium operations—is still being remediated.

As work progresses, the team will follow with revegetation treatments until the entire site has been completed. Over the next few years, Gunnar will slowly begin to support an ecosystem again.

Bendzsak says that vegetation surveys will help evaluate the long-term success of the project. These surveys will ensure that the area is stabilized and confirm that erosion has not occurred.

The team will also be able to monitor the new plant systems and measure the established vegetation communities.

“I’m immensely satisfied, both personally and professionally, when I visit an area we successfully revegetated,” says Bendzsak.

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Earthmaster was retained by the City of Calgary to conduct an urban roadside naturalization pilot project along a busy roadway in the city. To support the project, Earthmaster built and installed 30 bee boxes to facilitate the native solitary and social bee populations in the project area.


The City of Calgary has been designated a Bee City by Bee City Canada1. To support this designation, which requires creating, maintaining, and/or improving pollinator habitat, Earthmaster installed bee boxes as part of its roadside naturalization project. Alberta is home to more than 300 species of native bees2, most of which are ground-nesting bees. Others are aboveground cavity-dwelling bees which these bee boxes were designed to support. Solitary bees, such as leaf cutter bees and mason bees, live alone, do not produce honey, and do not have a queen. They lay eggs in small tubular cavities sealed with leaves or mud after brood laying. Social bees, such

as bumble bees, nest with a small number (<200) of other bees, they produce honey, and have a queen. They create “honey pots” to support their developing larvae and maintain hive nutrition. Introduced European honeybees require larger nesting opportunities and were not accommodated in this project.


Solitary bee boxes were constructed from balsam poplar log sections measuring approximately 20 cm in length and seven to 12 cm in diameter. Five nesting cavities sizes (two, five, six, eight, and 10 mm in diameter) were drilled into the face of the wood blocks to a depth of approximately 17 cm (Figure 1). Social bee boxes were constructed from 3/4” untreated plywood following instructions provided by the Alberta Native Bee Council2 (Figure 1). They were filled loosely with raw cotton and the lids were screwed shut. The social bee boxes were registered with the Alberta Native Bee Council following their protocols for

construction, maintenance, and monitoring. Both styles of boxes were attached to fence posts, at a height of at least one metre above the ground.


Earthmaster installed the bee boxes on the project site in July 2021. Three of the bee boxes (two solitary and one social) were occupied in the following summer of 2022. Two of the 15 solitary bee boxes were occupied by one leaf cutter bee or two mason bees (Figure 2). Although a variety of tunnel sizes were provided for solitary bees, they appeared to prefer the smaller diameter holes (two to six mm). Only one of the 15 social bee boxes was occupied as indicated by a honey pot (Figure 3) at the time of inspection in mid-September. During this late season inspection, pollinator activity was still very active. To date, a large variety of bumble bee species, including Bombus species huntii, tenarius, insulanis, and rufocinctus, have been observed at this location.

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Figure 1. Solitary bee box (left) and social bee box (right) (July 2021). Figure 2. Leaf plug (left) and mud plugs (right) in a solitary bee box (September 2022).


Bee boxes should be installed as early as possible in the spring and cleaned out after the first hard frost in the fall, replacing the cotton in the boxes that were previously occupied. Consideration should be given to wind velocities at the installation sites, as lids need to be secured shut and bee boxes secured with bolts, rather than wood screws, wherever possible. The project site was near an elementary school, and the bee boxes were a fun tool for facilitating pollinator education.


Earthmaster would like to thank the project team from the City of Calgary (Ethan Askey, Jenna Cross, and Peter Yee), University of Calgary (Mathis Natvik), and ISL Engineering (Gavin Wyman).


1. Bee City Calgary, https://beecitycanada. org/city/city-of-calgary/

2. The Alberta Native Bee Council, www.

For a list of Earthmaster publications and presentations, see the Earthmaster website at and click on the About tab.

Above left: Figure 3. Honey pot contained in a social bee box (September 2022). Above centre and right: Figure 4. Bumble bee on Plains coreopsis (left) and Bird’s foot trefoil (right) (2021).


If you’ve taken a walk through the southern Alberta prairies, you’re bound to have noticed the wide variety of birds nesting and making their homes among the trees and brush. Many are familiar with woodpeckers and osprey and have likely stopped to admire a hawk, but one bird people are unlikely to have seen is the Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) – and that’s because there are only an estimated 70 of them left in the province. Known for their unique mating display in which the males dance, puff themselves up and then make a popping sound with the two air sacs on their chest, the sage-grouse relies almost entirely on Silver Sagebrush (Artemisia cana) for food, nesting sites, and cover from predators.

Conservation and reclamation specialists have been working to plant sagebrush and restore habitats for the sage-grouse, and last November, 20 students in Lethbridge College’s Ecological Restoration Club volunteered their efforts by collecting seeds.

The students met at 6:30 a.m. and spent their Saturday in Manyberries, AB, collecting silver sagebrush seed. The trip was organized by the Orphan Well Association and Jorgensen Land Management, the latter of which will have the seeds cleaned, dried, and then stored until they can be sowed in spring.

The day provided a memorable learning experience for the club members and college instructors.

“It's experiential, hands-on and provides excellent practical experience for students,” says Steve MacRae, Rangeland Ecologist instructor at Lethbridge College. “It's exactly the kind of work that they're going to be performing when they graduate – so you can't get any better. The seeds they collected are going to be used in the restoration project going forward for the next three years. How much more handson can you get?”

Michael Layton, a second-year Environmental Assessment Restoration diploma

student who grew up in Glenwood, AB, agrees, adding he also appreciated getting to talk to industry experts as part of the experience.

“I was excited because it was an opportunity to meet people in the industry,” Layton says. “Because of the club, we were able to take part in that. It was a good experience.”

Cameron Deobald, a second-year Environmental Assessment Restoration diploma student who grew up in Swift Current, SK, says he also enjoyed meeting people in the industry – and neither student minded the hard work.

“It was a bit labour-intensive, with a lot of walking from plant to plant, bending and hand-stripping, trying to leave at least 50 per cent of the seeds behind,” says Layton. “But for myself, I grew up doing all types of labour-intensive jobs, and I’ve never had an indoor job, so I really just felt like I was in my natural element there.”

The experience was made possible thanks

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to support from Dave and Carson Jorgensen, from Jorgensen Land Management Ltd.; Samantha Price, an environmental coordinator from the Orphan Well Association; and Mecah Klem from the Ministry of Forestry, Parks and Tourism (and a 2003 graduate of the college’s Renewable Resource Management program).

“I enjoyed the work and learning about doing that kind of project and getting a sense of the long hours they put in to get where they want to be in that field,” Deobald says.

“For myself, it was really good to be in contact with those professionals, and it gave me a lot more insight into what they do and opened my eyes to what’s happening in the field,” adds Layton. “We learned that there’s a lot of opportunity for people coming into the industry and that there’s a surplus of work to be done. Meeting people in the industry and making connections was a highlight.”

Students in Lethbridge College’s twoyear Environmental Assessment and Restoration diploma program get both

the classroom theory and hands-on practice needed to help reclaim damaged landscapes, improve water quality, and restore abandoned industrial sites. After graduation, students can ladder seamlessly into the college’s Bachelor of Ecosystem Management degree with a Remediation and Restoration specialization or head right into a rewarding career in the field. To learn more about this program or to apply to start classes this September, go to lethbridgecollege. ca/ear.

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This article previously appeared in the Winter 2022 edition of Landform Design Quarterly

Knowledge, innovation, practice, and policy options in mine closure and reclamation have come a long way in the field’s brief history, and advancements are expected to continue. Some describe this evolution as monumental.

Miriam Clark, Christine Daly, M Anne Naeth, and Michelle Peters outlined these trends at a recent Women in Mining Calgary technical panel discussion. Their presentation is summarized here.

The end of operations is one of the most challenging phases of the mine lifecycle. Mine closure and reclamation involve multiple engineering and science disciplines, as well as collaboration with affected stakeholders, Indigenous peoples, and surrounding communities.

Closure of mine-affected lands must address complex technical and physical hurdles, including dramatic changes to topography and landforms, potentially contaminated soil and water, shortages

of appropriate soil material, and, in most current scenarios, the need to establish sustainable ecosystems. Sophisticated and interrelated socio-economic factors must also be addressed, including the need to integrate traditional Indigenous knowledge and perspectives into landform designs and identify the highest-value post-mining use of the land and the potential impacts on local employment.

Someone just scratching the surface of mine closure could easily be intimidated by the depth and breadth of the challenge.


Although the mining industry has been extracting natural resources from the Earth for thousands of years, mine closure and reclamation only became a widespread practice during the second half of the 20th century.

Partly driven by the inventory of legacy mines and growing awareness of the liabilities of unreclaimed lands, mine closure and reclamation legislation and best practice guidelines were implemented in Canada and other jurisdictions around the world. The global evolution of priorities for mine closure and reclamation can be described in three phases.1,2,3

Phase 1 (late 1960s to 1980s) focused on soil replacement and vegetative cover to prevent erosion and support postmining agricultural or forestry. The growing environmental movement of this period contributed to heightened awareness

56 CANADIAN RECLAMATION s Spring/Summer 2023
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of industrial impacts such as acid mine drainage, the legacy of abandoned mines, and passage of legislation and regulations governing mine closure and reclamation. In the latter part of this phase, the characterization and management of materials, including soil conservation, soil removal, and stockpiling protocols, acquired a new sense of importance, and the focus shifted from individual plants or crops to plant communities and ecosystems.

Phase 2 (1990s to 2005) saw an expansion of environmental planning efforts, both topically (e.g., geochemistry, ecology, wetlands, end pit lakes, sustainable development, social sciences, and the triple bottom line) and spatially (land uses, offsite impacts, and communities beyond the mine).

Phase 3 (2005 to present) is dominated by increasing public scrutiny, demands for accountability from industry and government, and a greater diversity of stakeholder and Indigenous peoples’ participation. Companies now strive for social license to operate and improve the quality of reclamation. Legislation requiring financial provisions that ensure reclamation is followed through to completion was developed to address the common practice of premature mine closure.

While mining companies once focused on reclamation planning, they are now beginning to embrace early and holistic approaches to closure, which includes broader and ecosystem-based environmental reclamation.


A critical and emerging aspect of closure is the integration of socio-economic and cultural values into environmental reclamation and progressive closure to help local communities make the transition to a sustainable post-mining future. Previously, mine closure was part of an environmental planning process that oc-

curred throughout a project and culminated in the decommissioning and reclamation of a site.

In contrast, a social perspective sees mine closure as “an episode or moment in the ebb and flow of life in the surrounding communities — a moment that can stretch from several years to several generations as the memories of legacies of mining persist well past formal extractive activities” (Bainton and Holcombe 2018, p. 469). The physical and technical aspects of mine closure remain important, but mines around the world are increasingly anticipating the social demands upon mine closure to support positive legacies of mining, including sustainable social, economic, and cultural closure outcomes.

The International Council on Mining and Metals defines “social closure” as “the planning, considerations and activities undertaken throughout the Life of Asset to develop and implement the transition

of a community, including its workforce, towards closure of an operation.”

The social aspects of mine closure are often connected to the dependency of local communities on resource extraction, and include the social costs borne by landbased peoples, including Indigenous peoples, and those with experience with environmental change.

Examples of social considerations that must be taken into account when planning for the post-closure stages of a project include employment opportunities, the safe reuse of mine infrastructure and the reclaimed landscape, society-environment relationships; demographic changes, decline in local businesses, and decline in government taxes to fund local services.

The following mine projects were discussed at the “Landscape of Closure Event” as case studies that support planning for sustainable communities and landscapes beyond closure.

CANADIAN RECLAMATION s Spring/Summer 2023 57
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A multistakeholder committee provided expert and strategic advice to support development of a rehabilitation strategy for three brown coal mines in Latrobe Valley, Australia. Members applied a local first focus by inviting local groups with the most to gain or lose from mine closure to participate. The strategy included end land use ideas and feasibility reviews of closure options.


Local leadership and a collaborative attitude from the Teck Sullivan Mine created a constructive environment for the inclusion of local communities and Indigenous peoples in envisioning the future of the Kimberly, British Columbia region.

A multistakeholder committee gave communities the opportunity to contribute to

closure planning, and strategies were developed to mitigate the economic impact of closure of the zinc, lead, and iron mine.

Outcomes included career transition planning and training opportunities for employees, conversion of the local economic base from mining to tourism and recreation, and turning over mine-owned lands to the city for a community power plant, and expansion of a local ski hill and recreational resorts.


Closure of the Vale nickel mine, a major employer in Thompson, Manitoba, gave local Indigenous communities and other regional partners an incentive to plan for their socio-economic future.

They developed the Thompson Economic Diversification Plan to identify and pursue opportunities for the region to diversify its economy and strengthen its

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The Snap Lake Mine is a modern example of the application of best practices to mine closure and reclamation. The mine is De Beers’ first diamond mine outside of Africa, and the first in the Northwest Territories, to be entirely underground. In 2022, the company will be setting another precedent when it becomes the first of four diamond mines in the territories to begin closure activities, which follow six years of planning and engagement with local stakeholders and Indigenous peoples. The recent interim approval of the mine’s Final Closure and Reclamation Plan, and approval in 2020 of a closure water licence for closure by the Mackenzie Land and Water Board, were key milestones in the closure journey.

At Snap Lake, the physical, biophysical, and infrastructure components of closure were considered, and social aspects received equal consideration. The plan’s intended outcomes were designed to be mutually beneficial and sustainable over the long term.

From the beginning, the Snap Lake closure team ensured that closure was integrated into decision-making at the planning and operational levels, rather than being left until the last few years of production. The Northwest Territories Guidelines for Closure and Reclamation Cost Estimates for Mines, along with the Anglo American Corporate Mine Closure Standard and its associated Mine Closure Toolbox, provide detailed guidance on how to achieve increasingly higher standards of closure preparation.

Altogether, there are seven closure objectives at Snap Lake, each with associated closure criteria and underpinned by a vision “to return the site and affected areas around the Mine to where practicable, self-sustaining ecosystems that are compatible with a healthy environment and with human activities.”

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Integrated closure planning is a promising trend for the future of mine closure and reclamation. Historically, there has been a disconnect between the teams that develop the mine and tailings plans and schedules, and the teams that develop the closure and environmental monitoring plans. Integrated closure planning creates a single, fully integrated plan in which closure is as important as extraction or processing.

Integrated closure planning combines reclamation expertise with strategic mine planning to prevent poor and underfunded closure outcomes. Treating closure as an integral part of an operating site’s lifecycle decreases environmental liability and preserves the social values of the land for future use. Socio-economic and cultural value creation must be united with the integrated mine, tailings, and/ or extraction plan. This can help ensure the sustainability of communities, economies, and cultures long after a mine closes. Regional planning frameworks should integrate these dimensions by including the participation and local knowledge of stakeholders and Indigenous peoples in holistic closure planning.

Innovation and technology hold much promise for mine closure — as well as the full activity suite of exploration, permitting, construction, and operation of the mines. New mines will be designed to the smallest possible footprint, resulting in less disturbance and minimal generation of waste. This can be achieved with innovative solutions, such as smart power; hydrogen and green energy; microwave technology; hydraulic dry stacking; remote management and monitoring; nature-based designs, such as passive water treatment systems, wetlands, biomimicry, phytoremediation, and the circular economy; in situ bioremediation of soils; and agrivoltaics.

In addition, an examination of the trajectories of mine reclamation success can help determine whether the choices made as part of closure planning are actually working.

We expect the future landscape of mine closure to be characterized by even greater degrees of diversity and interdisciplinary understanding; integrated closure, mine, and tailings planning (which includes regeneration of socioeconomic and environmental value post-closure); coordinated action from multiple stakeholders and Indigenous peoples; and integrated regional frameworks and/or regulatory processes.

We expect to see more diverse and multifaceted closure outcomes as we consider all the users of reclaimed landscapes and implement advances in land reclamation. More advanced approaches to monitoring and determination of reclamation success should follow.

1. Unger CJ, et al. 2020. “Transition or Transformation: Shifting Priorities and Stakeholders in Australian Mined Land Rehabilitation and Closure.” Australasian Journal of Environmental Management. 27(1): 84–113.

2. Golder Associates Ltd. 2007. History of reclamation and reclamation research for the Suncor Oil Sands projects. Fort McMurray (AB): Golder. Report No.: 05-1344-021. Accessed April 16, 2021. https://open.alberta. ca/dataset/ea88e773-42b6-4d92-ba2840aa636996c7/resource/bd596a253b30-434d-89e1-5285dd712385/download/History-of-Reclamation.pdf

3. Daly CA. 2011. History of wetland reclamation in the Alberta oil sands. In: Fourie AB and Tibbet M, Beersing A, editors. The Sixth International Conference on Mine Closure; 2006 Sept 18-21. Perth (WA): Australian Centre for Geomechanics. au/p/1152_56_Daly/

p o r t w r i t i n g

§ S e n i o r r e v i e w 587-747-5567

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THINK S U P P O R T S E R V I C E S F O R E N V I R O N M E N TA L C O N S U LTA N T S § C A D D / G I S fi g u r e s a n d m a p s § G r o u n d w a t e r fl o w m a p s § G e o l o g i c a l c r o s s - s e c t i o n s § Tr i m b l e fi l e ( S S F ) p r o c e s s i n g § B o r e h o l e / w e l l l o g e n t r y § A i r p h o t o s e a r c h e s / r e v i e w § A n a l y t i c a l d a t a t a b u l a t i o n § R e
image: Matthew Smith


Tree Canada is the only national non-profit organization dedicated to planting and nurturing trees in rural and urban environments, in every province across the country. Through its programs and partnerships, Tree Canada supports individuals, businesses, community groups, and all levels of government to increase Canada’s total canopy cover equitably and sustainably.

The organization planted over 1 million seedlings through its National Greening Program last year, focusing on trees in areas where there is a need for reforestation or afforestation due to human activity or other causes. With the support of corporate partners, Tree Canada aims to plant over one and a half million trees in 2023 and beyond to help in the fight against climate change and biodiversity loss.


The non-profit and its network of Forestry Specialists work closely with local authorities and landowners to select planting sites in five major regions: British Columbia & Territories/North, the Prairies, Ontario, Quebec, and Atlantic.

Priority is given to planting on lands where there’s a guarantee that they’ll remain in forest cover and where the landowner’s primary objective is forest conservation. Eligible properties include those that are suitable for afforestation or restoration due to natural or human-caused disturbances, including wildfires, windstorms, insect outbreaks, abandoned farmland, or aggregate extraction.

Sites in which reforestation is mandated under provincial legislation following disturbance and/or resource extraction are not eligible under this program.


Over the years, Tree Canada has developed strong working relationships with planting partners to ensure that native species of trees are properly planted and monitored to maximize survival.

Its partnership with Redd Fish Restoration Society for the Kennedy Lake watershed is one example of a project that will help reclaim the area from industrial impacts, most notably logging. During the early logging days, there was no protection provided to riparian or in-stream

habitat. Although riparian management areas are now protected under the Forest and Range Practices Act, these areas were never re-planted after harvest.

After years of sediment washing into the stream with no logs to help scour pools, the area now has extensive riffle zones and a loss of significant pool habitat, shade, and cover for fish. Redd Fish Restoration Society wants to improve the conditions of the stream and with Tree Canada’s support, their reclamation project will plant four native tree species including Sitka spruce, Western redcedar, Red alder and Willow spp in the fall of 2023.


Tree Canada conducts survival assessments to measure the success of plantings and to determine maintenance requirements. A sampling of each planting site is done in the first, second, and fifth years after planting. If tree survival falls below an industry standard threshold, Tree Canada will replant the site at its own cost and will choose a different location if a site is deemed unsuitable for replanting.

National Greening Program project proponents and landowners must also be committed to each project’s long-term success. Landowners sign an agreement that requires them to steward the planted trees for a minimum of 20 years up to 50 years.

Property owners who would like support for their tree planting projects can submit a proposal to be part of Tree Canada’s National Greening Program. Learn more about eligible properties at https://

60 CANADIAN RECLAMATION s Spring/Summer 2023

Help Us to Restore Canada’s Forest Cover

Support Tree Canada’s National Greening Program by submitting a tree planting project or donate to plant trees.



A drone photo showing a restored fen and a natural one in (South Julius) Manitoba, separated by a main or primary ditch. Co-ordinates of the site: N 49° 55'46.61”; W 96° 14'11.03". The restored site is divided into three main sectors, and it is surrounded by a shrubby and a graminoid natural fen. The site was restored by the joint collaboration of CSPMA and (PERG/GRET), thanks to Sun Gro’s restoration work.


A drone photo of a restored fen in (Elma) Manitoba, Canada. Co-ordinates of the site: N 49° 47'00.56”; W 95° 57'55.50". The site was restored by creating small cells in a checkerboard pattern to develop a series of bunds. The main purpose of these cells is to retain the water and limit wind and water erosion. The site was restored by the joint collaboration of CSPMA and PERG (GRET), thanks to Sun Gro’s restoration work.


A drone photo showing an extracted peatland in (Evergreen) Manitoba, Canada where the restoration work is underway. Co-ordinates of the site: N 50°04'55.31"; W 96°10'03.74".

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A graminoid natural fen in Moss Spur, Manitoba. The nearby railway track further enhances its beauty.


A restored graminoid fen in (Moss Spur) Manitoba, Canada. Most of the sectors have a natural regeneration in this site. Small patches of Trichophorum alpinum are quite prominent, making it more attractive. The site was abandoned in the late 1990s and it is divided by a railway track into two parts i.e., north and south. Co-ordinates of the site: N 49°59'24.46"; W 96°08'08.61".


A restored fen in Saint Fabien Sur Mer (Quebec). The site was restored by the joint collaboration of CSPMA and PERG (GRET), thanks to Sun Gro’s restoration work.


A graminoid natural fen in Caribou, Manitoba.

All photos are courtesy of Aamir Shehzad Khan, which he captured during his fieldwork in Quebec and Manitoba along with his research colleagues Carter Hildebrand (Brandon University, Manitoba) and Talal Asif (Laval University, Quebec). Aamir is doing his PhD with Peatland Ecology Research Group (PERG/GRET) at Laval University, Quebec, and his research work includes the assessment of fen restoration in Canada.

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As part of the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) the Centre for Boreal Research in Peace River and the Clean Technologies team in Edmonton provide expertise in land management, remediation, reclamation, and restoration. These two groups have access to specialized facilities, equipment, tools, and methods to support projects from initial assessment and planning through to execution, monitoring and final reporting. With our vast expertise, handson training, cutting-edge resources, and focus on practical application, NAIT provides the skills and knowledge that lead to innovative and impactful solutions for industries and communities.

At NAIT, we understand that the solutions to the challenges facing industries and communities today require more than just technical expertise. While applied research uses science to develop practical solutions to real-world challenges, such as

building prototypes or investigating innovative ways of doing things, its outcomes can also be used to develop and enhance skill sets through knowledge transfer and professional development. NAIT’s model of full-time researchers and our practical hands-on operational focus allows our researchers and technicians to work side by side with our research partners’ employees, contractors and consultants in implementing projects. NAIT applied research project outcomes are not just found in reports or papers but may be provided in a variety of other ways that meet the needs of our partners, including technical notes, webinars, workshops, or videos to facilitate adoption of best practices and learnings. Research extension, working with people to facilitate change, and knowledge mobilization is facilitated by NAIT’s policy that our partners retain all intellectual property to better fulfill NAIT’s polytechnic mandate to be relevant to the people and economy of Alberta and beyond.

Knowledge-to-practice activities can take place in the classroom, laboratory or in the field, with individual or group training and mentoring. An example of the mentoring approach currently underway within NAIT’s Clean Technology team is an applied research and training project that was initiated by an Indigenous community and has now expanded to other communities. In the initial project, community residents were concerned about the health of their water resources and requested assistance in monitoring and protecting them. The capacity to collect their own data and generate reports was important to them, providing a conduit for knowledge sovereignty enabling them to directly manage and respond to changes in this resource.

The uniqueness of NAIT’s approach was to provide hands-on training and mentor-

64 CANADIAN RECLAMATION s Spring/Summer 2023

ing in the field where community members could undertake all aspects of field sampling while at the same time answering essential research questions concerning ecosystem sustainability. The same community members who collected the field samples

were also trained in basic laboratory analysis of the samples. Core deliverables for the project included building capacity in the community to undertake the work, an understanding of data storage, use and access, and developing strategies for protecting

water resources. Participants will have the tools and knowledge they need to continue building their capacity and expertise in water monitoring long after the project is complete, making a real and lasting impact in their community.


NAIT’s applied research is focused on the restoration and sustainable use of land and freshwater ecosystems, strengthening Canada’s natural resources sectors and the industries that support them. Our experts translate knowledge from applied research projects to develop training programs that promote learner and community growth for businesses and communities throughout Canada.

Learn more at

CANADIAN RECLAMATION s Spring/Summer 2023 65


Panther Geoscience is a turnkey solution provider with a team of expert geoscientists. We tackle projects of all sizes and complexities from geotechnical investigation to oil & gas exploration and development. We also offer advanced GIS solutions, including custom software applications and analysis.

Panther Geoscience’s primary focus is to provide industry-leading geoscientific solutions to solve environmental problems. More specifically, we aim to support remediation/reclamation efforts with the most advanced analysis and visualization of electromagnetic (EM) data and multi-spectral aerial imagery (Remote Sensing) available on the market. Our principal geoscientist has 20 years of experience collecting, processing, and interpreting EM data for the environmental sector and is supported by a team with advanced environmental science and agrology know-how.

Our focus is environmental solutions be-

cause we felt there was considerable room for improvement in the traditional products that have demonstrated poor to moderate success for decades. More importantly, Panther Geoscience feels that this is the socially responsible path with the most positive impact for future generations.


In the past, EM data collected on sites requiring reclamation and/or remediation generally underwent minimal processing or were simply gridded and presented. Furthermore, the data being presented was in the form of “apparent conductivity”, which is the non-linear weighted average response of the instrument. These values have minimal physical meaning and limit interpretation to a qualitative exercise with no ability to compare directly to sampling or laboratory measurements. In addition, accurate target depth estimation is essentially impossible. As such, EM data has been deemed low value relative to costly direct sampling and has been pushed to

the periphery of the contaminant identification and remediation/reclamation planning discussion.

Panther Geoscience aims to change this mindset and envisions our exclusive products as the core tools used to identify and quantify contamination, potentially displacing or eliminating costly borehole drilling campaigns. Panther Geoscience eventually foresees our products deployed early in projects prior to Phase I and Phase II in an effort to define project scope, improve efficiency, and ultimately reduce asset retirement costs.

Panther Geoscience has developed methods and software to convert conventionally acquired EM data into 3D datasets that are accurate not only in the horizontal axes, but also in depth. Moreover, “true conductivity” and “true magnetic susceptibility” (metal detection) are recovered through our exclusive workflow. This enables quantitative evaluation and direct comparison to laboratory and direct sampling data.

66 CANADIAN RECLAMATION s Spring/Summer 2023
Commercial site 3D EM metal detection geobodies (red). Commercial site 3D MSPEC landscape model


By working in the 3D domain versus the 2D domain, we can accurately delineate anomaly morphologies. This drastically improves the interpretation process and enables the effective separation of natural features from contamination. As an added benefit, 3D constrained contamination can be directly converted into volumetric estimates.


The parallel extraction of 3D magnetic susceptibility enhances metal detection and delineation capabilities for on-site infrastructure such as buried wellheads, pipelines, power cables, and USTs. It can be deployed as an effective reconnaissance tool for line locating.


Panther Geoscience also provides premium remote sensing services. With the rapid improvement of aerial drone platforms, we now offer multi-spectral (MSPEC) remote sensing solutions with RTK supported centimeter positional accuracy for high resolution surface analysis. Breathtaking aerial imagery, high accuracy topographic surveys, 3D site visualization and precision landform/land coverage (index) mapping are possible in condensed timelines at competitive prices. Excitingly, there are precedents for reclamation certificates being issued on remote sites that have leveraged precision index maps like NDVI. Using multi-spectral imagery, Panther Geoscience can generate a full suite of effective index maps that can differentiate vegetation type, health, water content, soil, geology, and infrastructure.


Panther Geoscience has worked hard over several years to optimize the use of elec-

tromagnetic data for remediation and reclamation activities. We feel this data has been underutilized and undervalued for far too long. We’re proud to introduce exclusive 3D EM products that represent a quantum leap in information value extracted with the non-intrusive, environmentally friendly, and cost-efficient technique. Our methods increase data quality, density, and utility, all while driving costs

down for the end users. Furthermore, if combined with Panther Geoscience’s stateof-the-art 3D MSPEC remote sensing, our clients have the potential to revolutionize how asset retirement is achieved. Ultimately, by improving efficiency through understanding, unencumbered resources can reach more sites and the environment becomes the victor, which is something we can all be proud of.

Wellsite 3D EM visualization with well centre cross section


Nestled in the heart of Northern Alberta’s Lakeland, Portage College is in the perfect location for students who want a meaningful education in the great outdoors – and the college’s Natural Resources Technology program delivers just that.

Operating out of Portage’s Lac La Biche campus, the two-year Natural Resources Technology Diploma program offers students the opportunity to gain handson experience in the field and bring that knowledge back to the onsite labs and classrooms. The unique mix of lakes, rivers, forests, and muskeg filled with thousands of unique species of wildlife in Portage College’s region means students will often find themselves in new and interesting environments while they learn about the natural world.

Al Bertschi, Coordinator of the Natural Resources Technology programs, says it should be a top choice for anyone with a passion for environmental sustainability and an interest in working outdoors.

“The hands-on learning in labs really compliments the material covered in lectures,” he says, adding that students spend about 40 per cent of their time in labs.

Graduates of the program have gone on to work in reclamation, forestry, wildlife

Left top: A Natural Resources Technology student practices flying a drone.

Left: Seed planting – A Natural Resources Technology student takes notes on plants.

68 CANADIAN RECLAMATION s Spring/Summer 2023

biology, and water quality monitoring among other things, in both public and private fields. Bertschi says graduates are well-prepared and versatile in their knowledge and skills.

“Versatility allows employers to use the employee in different capacities,” he says, “Our students are educated in reclamation but have solid plant ID, water quality, and wildlife skills. They’re very versatile and very employable.”

Graduates are well-prepared for careers in the reclamation industry. The Alberta Institute of Agrology recognizes the Natural Resources Technology program and graduates are qualified to obtain the R.T. Ag designation, which allows them to work in the industry.

“Reclamation is one of the capstone courses; students will use all the skills they’ve learned and bring it all together in this one course,” says Bertschi.

The Natural Resources Technology program has been evolving along with industry as well, as students can now take their education to new heights with drone pilot certification. This allows them to learn an exciting new skill that will give graduates an edge in the labour market. The Basic Pilot’s Licence has been added to the program’s Mapping and Navigation unit, and the Advanced Pilot’s Licence is available through Portage’s Continuing Education department. Bertschi says he’s excited to offer drone training to students.

“This summer will be our first class in work placements with this extra certificate,” he says, “We hope students find employment in this new and exciting area within the environmental sector.”

If the forests, lakes, rivers, and unique training weren’t enough of a draw, students might also be able to look forward

to trips abroad to learn about different biomes and natural life. Second-year Natural Resource Technology students went for a trip to Costa Rica in February of this year. On their adventures, the students learned about rainforests, beaches, volcanoes, and wildlife from local experts, took in the scenery, and furthered their education while escaping the frigid February weath-

er. The students documented their experiences, and a video of the trip is available on Portage College’s YouTube page.

The Natural Resources Technology program runs every fall, with the next intake set for August 23, 2023. For more information about the program, visit or call 1-866-623-5551.

Partners in Mining

We are proud to live and work in the same places where our clients operate. We deliver sustainable solutions for the full mining life cycle.

› Hydrogeological studies

› Water resource management

› Environmental assessment and compliance

› Risk assessment and management

› Community engagement

› Mine closure and tailings management

Contact: Chris Lach, P.Eng., MBA 604.802.9906

CANADIAN RECLAMATION s Spring/Summer 2023 69
Watercourse Crossing Restoration Project BEFORE AFTER
We should be temporary, so nature can be forever.


In March, De Beers Group announced that its Victor and Snap Lake mines in Canada are entering the final stages of active closure, having commenced the active closure process in 2019 and 2022, respectively.

At Victor mine, located in the James Bay lowlands of Northern Ontario, most of the infrastructure has already been removed and over two-thirds of the site has been rehabilitated and revegetated. Following closure, De Beers Group will undertake long-term monitoring of the site.

At Snap Lake mine, located approximately 220 kilometres northeast of Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories, the mine’s infrastructure will be removed by the end of this year, and the site will be readied for targeted revegetation in 2024, followed by long-term monitoring.

“We recognize that our responsibility to protect the land, water and wildlife extends across every aspect of our activities, from exploration through construction, production and beyond. We are immensely proud of the work we are doing to rehabilitate the Victor and Snap Lake sites and ensure they represent productive ecosystems for both people and wildlife,” noted Moses Madondo, Managing Director, De Beers Group Managed Operations. “We are very pleased to continue to have Impact Benefit Agreement business partners significantly contributing to the safe closure activities at both these sites.”

Both closure projects received important regulatory approvals in December 2022. The Ontario Ministry of Mines accepted and filed Closure Plan Amendment 5 (CPA5) for Victor mine and the Federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans au-

thorized establishment of a fish habitat pond on the site. Both CPA5 and the fish habitat pond were developed in collaboration with and incorporating input from the Attawapiskat First Nation.

The Mackenzie Valley Land & Water Board approved the Final Closure and Reclamation Plan for Snap Lake mine after nearly four years of public review including engagement with Indigenous communities. De Beers looks forward to finalizing the remaining closure criteria in the coming months.

Victor mine was Ontario’s first and only diamond mine, opened in July 2008. Snap Lake mine was Canada’s only entirely underground diamond mine and was De Beers’ first mine in Canada when it opened in July 2008.

70 CANADIAN RECLAMATION s Spring/Summer 2023
Snap Lake Process Plant demolition, summer 2022.



As the world’s leading diamond company, De Beers knows the value of a promise.

Even before we opened Victor and Snap Lake mines a day apart in 2008, we committed to rehabilitating these sites once operations were complete.

We are living up to these promises and by the end of 2023 and 2024 respectively, active closure at both locations will be substantially complete.

We are proud of the legacy of these great operations: billions of dollars spent to drive the Ontario and NWT economies, thousands of jobs created, and millions of dollars invested in local Indigenous communities.

We are also immensely proud of the work we have done in collaboration with Indigenous partners and regulators to return these sites to nature.

Rest assured, we aren’t going anywhere; monitoring will continue for at least the next two decades.

This is the same commitment to care that we show throughout a mine’s life, during exploration, construction and operations.

De Beers employs more than 600 people in Canada. It is the operator of the joint venture Gahcho Kué mine in the NWT, has an active exploration team searching for new diamond deposits in Canada, and is advancing the Chidliak Project on Baffin Island using FutureSmart Mining™ principles.


Victor Mine

• Mine opened July 26, 2008, and operations ended June 2019

• 8.3M carats of diamonds recovered

• WSP Golder was awarded the contract to close and rehabilitate the site at the end of 2020

• By the end of 2022, 25 buildings have been removed with the accommodations facility to be removed by April 2023

• The open pit has fully recharged, and the surrounding aquifer has rebounded

• By the end of the 2023 winter road, more than 750 truckloads of recyclable materials will have been removed from site for resale/reuse with proceeds being shared between Attawapiskat Enterprises and Priestly Demolition

• 1 million cubic metres of overburden and muskeg has been placed as reclamation cover to date

• 1.4 million trees have been planted and 5,676 kg of seed applied to date

• Active closure expected to be complete by Q3 2023

• Long-term monitoring will continue until at least 2039

Snap Lake

• Mine opened July 25, 2008, and operations ended December 2015

• 7.8M carats of diamonds recovered

• Met/NUNA, a joint venture between Nuna Logistics and the North Slave Me-

tis Alliance, received the contract to close and rehabilitate the site at the end of 2021

• By the end of 2022, 72 per cent of the mine infrastructure had been demolished

• More than 2,700 tonnes of equipment are being removed from site for resale/reuse

• All openings to underground to be capped with concrete and covered

• Close to 200ha of the site will undergo active rehabilitation

• About 30,000 cubic metres of overburden stockpiled for closure use during operations

• 600 kilograms of native grass seeds will be used during revegetation

• At the end of active closure and rehabilitation two winter weather haven buildings to accommodate a remote monitoring team and a “Foldaway” shop to store equipment and supplies will remain on site until they are no longer needed.

72 CANADIAN RECLAMATION s Spring/Summer 2023
Victor temporary camp.


The United Nations declared 2021-2030 the Decade of Ecological Restoration with the aim to prevent, halt, and reverse ecosystem degradation on every continent and in every ocean. Land reclamation is one of the most pressing challenges of the 21st century, as our growing population parallels a rapidly degrading arable land base with half the land on planet earth degraded by human and natural disturbances. Reclaimed landscapes are designed to be self-sustaining, be resilient to future changes, and provide

services from food production, forestry, and recreation to water management, aesthetics, wildlife habitat and biodiversity. To address this challenge and secure the livelihood of future generations, land reclamation professionals are increasingly in demand.

The field of land reclamation offers innumerable job and career opportunities. Land reclamation work is diverse, from designing and planning projects, consulting with stakeholders and developing policy, to implementing ground disturbance

with minimal impact on the environment, remediating contaminated soil and water to meet guidelines, improving soil quality, and actively recontouring and revegetating landscapes – all while navigating the regulatory process. Practitioners participate in development of new technologies and processes to reduce environmental impacts, development of science-based policy and criteria, streamlining of reclamation assessments and certification, engagement with communities and the public regarding end land uses, management of contractors, and traditional field activi-

CANADIAN RECLAMATION s Spring/Summer 2023 73

ties to remove, replace, sample, recontour, add and incorporate the soil, water and vegetation components within reclaimed landscapes. Land reclamation skills are diverse and adaptable to any ecosystem or end land use, with room for anyone to excel and find a rewarding career in land reclamation.

The University of Alberta Land Reclamation Program is unique in Canada and the world. By harnessing teaching and research capacities of one of Canada’s top five universities, our flexible offerings ensure students at all stages in their studies and careers can gain expertise they need to contribute to a wide array of reclamation activities. Undergraduate programs prepare graduates to step directly into a job. Graduate programs can meet the needs of those focusing on research or provide management personnel with course based options to advance their career paths. Graduates of undergraduate and graduate degree programs are eligible for Professional Agrologist (PAg) or Professional Biologist (PBiol) designations, needed for sign off on reclamation projects in Canada.

The primary pathway for undergraduate students is a four-year Bachelor of Science in Environmental and Conservation Science majoring in land reclamation. In this program, students develop skills to reclaim disturbed ecosystems. They will

learn to combine natural and applied sciences to understand, assess, and minimize impacts of human activities on natural resources; learn to conduct remediation, soil reclamation, revegetation and monitoring to maintain quality environments; develop skills to contribute natural science expertise to environmental assessment and land use planning; and gain expertise in planning, rebuilding and managing the complex ecological relationships of natural and anthropogenically disturbed environments.

Alternative undergraduate land reclamation options at the University of Alberta include programs where the first two years of study are completed at Lakeland or Olds colleges. Similar transfer programs are available from other institutions such as the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology and programs outside of Alberta. These programs provide students with the hands-on focus of college diplomas and senior level courses of a university experience.

Our graduate programs include thesis-based Master of Science (MSc) and doctoral (PhD) degree programs in land reclamation. A course-based master’s program is being developed. Graduate students develop novel and advanced techniques and approaches for reconstructing soil, revegetating plant communities, re-

mediating contaminants, and developing resilient reclaimed ecosystems.

The University of Alberta is home to the Land Reclamation International Graduate School (LRIGS), a unique, award-winning program which complements degree or diploma programs. LRIGS is the first school of its kind in Canada and the world to provide value added education and training and professional development opportunities that bridge traditional academic courses and actual world application. LRIGS is open to students studying or conducting research in land reclamation; graduate refers to the higher level of training it provides. LRIGS provides speakers from industry, consulting, government, and academia who share their expertise and career development with members; hosts professional skills development sessions, networking and social events; and offers field trips, short courses, mini-internships, and a mentorship program. LRIGS received the Edward M. Watkin Award from the Canadian Land Reclamation Association for significant contributions in advancing development of students and an Alberta Emerald Award for Post Secondary Education for leadership and creativity in educating students on environmental matters. Members not only increase their knowledge, skills, and employability, but meet with working professionals to discuss career paths and to connect with other students passionate about land reclamation in an engaging environment.

The land reclamation programs at the University of Alberta are second to none in Canada and the world, offering students and working professionals flexible options for building their careers in this rapidly expanding field. Come join us and make an impact on the world we share!

74 CANADIAN RECLAMATION s Spring/Summer 2023 Helping your members stay connected is WHAT WE DO. We offer outstanding personal service and quality in the areas of... • Creative Design • Website Design • Advertising Sales • Print and Web Magazine Publications • Online E-newsletters • Online Directories DIGITAL

Land Reclamation Education At The University of Alberta

• The University of Alberta offers a full suite of programs for careers in land reclamation including BSc, MSc, PhD and college transfer degrees and certificates.

• The Land Reclamation International Graduate School provides training and professional development to foster highly qualified land reclamation professionals with the education and experience to take on leadership roles in industry, consulting, government and academia.

• Land reclamation is a multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary field and the programs offered by the University of Alberta ensure students gain knowledge across diverse areas.

• Graduates can obtain employment in industry, government, consulting, not for profits and academia.

• Graduates work on a diversity of human and nature caused disturbances that need reclamation; such as natural disasters like earthquakes and floods; protected areas like national parks; urban; oil and gas operations; agriculture; sand and gravel operations; coal, metal and mineral mining.

Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences | Phone: (780) 492-4933

Land Reclamation International Graduate School (LRIGS) | Phone: (780) 492-9088


Whether as companies or individuals, we can all appreciate the value of keeping hardearned cash in our pockets. The Canadian energy industry works hard to generate revenue and maximize profit margins in a highly competitive market. These companies owe it to their investors and clients to make sure to maximize value from each finance dollar. H3M Environmental (H3M) takes our role seriously as environmental consultants, stewards, and as trusted advisors to these energy companies, to put those dollars to good use. Given our level of experience in the environmental space, our team is given the responsibility of efficiently managing these environmental portfolios, including justifying the required allocation of capital required to complete the work. It is prudent to allocate budgets effectively to generate the highest value for each client, while still maintaining environmental regulatory compliance.


H3M’s experience is that success in cost savings starts at the beginning of the project lifecycle. Using the upstream oil & gas industry as an example, more specifically an abandoned wellsite, the first step in progressing the site to closure is to complete a Phase 1 environmental site assessment (ESA). The purpose of a Phase 1 ESA is to determine the potential for environmental concern based on the historical and/or current site activities.

In general, Phase 1 ESAs are completed at a relatively low cost to the client, have a quick turnaround time, and lend the overall sense of the potential environmental liability of a site. The key to a successful Phase 1 ESA is the ability to track down historical information for the site crucial to understanding past activities and potential impacts to each site. Digging into client and regulatory files is necessary to ensure proper review to uncover and identify the required pertinent information that may be the difference between a site passing or failing.

In essence, it truly is an environmental service providers role at this crucial stage to conduct thorough due diligence to prove the site does not pose environmental risk, therefore eliminating the need for subsequent work (Phase II ESA, Remediation, etc.). While at times digging into those files may take a little more time, it’s a fundamental step in the process and should be valued as such.

Mindful of generating value from the investment, there are times where it may be necessary to take a deep dive to venture further to find the records that prove the site does not pose environmental risks. From this strategy, H3M ultimately aims to save our clients’ money in the long term.


H3M provides environmental, archaeology, and regulatory expertise across Western Canada. Our office locations are in Calgary, Alberta and Fort St. John, British Columbia, with our newest addition in Grande Prairie, Alberta. Our dedicated team support clients in upstream and midstream oil & gas, municipal, renewables, utilities, forestry, and commercial/industrial sectors, as well as our Indigenous community partners. As a full-scale service provider, H3M delivers archaeology, pre-construction environmental planning, applications and permitting, biophysical assessments, construction monitoring, post-construction restoration, remediation, reclamation, and environmental drilling services across these sectors.

H3M aligns our clients’ interests, risks, and expectations with regulatory requirements, from inception to operation to end-of-life, operating as an extension of the client team. Our commitment is to our clients and our people. The team we’ve assembled offers unmatched value in providing expert service. Our focus on technical quality, practical solutions, and results that our clients rely on has fostered our reputation as a trusted industry partner.

76 CANADIAN RECLAMATION s Spring/Summer 2023
FROM DESKTOP TO RECLAMATION A streamlined approach focused on your timeline. EVERY STEP OF THE WAY 403.305.1766 Carolyn Inglis Business Development Representative Jennifer Fletcher P.Ag. Manager, Reclamation & Remediation 403.870.0843 WE ARE HIRING AR E


It can take several years to receive a Reclamation Certificate in the boreal forest region of Northern Alberta. Each additional year between initial closure work and Reclamation Certification represents an incremental cost to a site, which becomes significant when considered over a large volume of locations.

For the past 12 years, the experienced teams at SHARP Environmental and Owl River Environmental Services, a division of 360 Energy Liability Management Ltd. (360), have significantly reduced the time from soil reclamation to revegetation to Reclamation Certification Application (RCA). With support from the industry, several key initiatives and intuitive methods have helped reduce the delay to closure on sites in remote areas of Northern

Alberta. 360’s fleet of innovative, lightweight reclamation equipment achieves a hybrid model of natural recovery and conventional reclamation through:

1) Reclamation following decommissioning in the same season

2) Minimal site disturbance with use of innovative mini equipment

3) Settlement repair during summer months

4) Reduces barriers to re-vegetation while minimizing disturbance

5) Transplanting woody tree species from local and site plant stocks

Experience over the past several years has shown that these techniques have sub-

stantially reduced the time from final soil reclamation to Reclamation Certified by as much as 10 to 13 years. This achievement has been made possible by the combination of research and ingenuity and developed by managing large-scale, multi-site remote programs to closure in a timely manner.

A study using public data supports these findings: two areas with the shortest time to Reclamation Certification in Alberta are Rainbow Lake/Zama and Grande Prairie, both primary areas in which these methods have proven to reduce time to RCA, as shown in the following dataset.

The true savings are much greater than specified when looking at the program through a holistic lens, as revegetation

78 CANADIAN RECLAMATION s Spring/Summer 2023


measures (transplanting and tree planting) were also completed at the same time the mini-equipment reclamation work was completed. Had the work been completed conventionally in the winter, no vegetation measures would have been completed, and most likely, the revegetation measure to be completed following conventional winter work would be far greater than that required during the summer. This is due to greater soil disturbance created in the winter because of ripping and damage completed to woody revegetation during snow removal activity.

The significance of time to closure is a dynamic factor in the end of life of a wellsite and a crucial factor in the cost of the closure campaign. 360’s fleet of mini equipment is one of the key contributors in cost saving measures. The ability to mobilize lightweight reclamation to remote locations via helicopter or Argo in the summer season eliminates the high costs of building winter access roads. Based on an analysis of the work completed in the past summer using this specialized equipment a major client was able to realize savings of 67 per cent per site by eliminating costly winter access:

Reducing the time to closure in the boreal forest is a significant undertaking. These innovative approaches have shown that it is possible through new techniques, research, and ingenuity. By reducing the time to Reclamation Certification, significant savings can be realized for both industry and the environment.

The significance of time to closure is a dynamic factor in the end of life of a wellsite and a crucial factor in the cost of the closure campaign. 360’s fleet of mini equipment is one of the key contributors in cost saving measures. The ability to mobilize lightweight reclamation to remote locations via helicopter or Argo in the summer season eliminates the high costs of building winter access roads. Based on an analysis of the work completed in the past summer using this specialized equipment a major client was able to realize savings of 67 per cent per site by eliminating costly winter access:



TOTAL SAVINGS = $89,843 (67%)

$89,843 (67%)

(27km @ $3,888/km)

The true savings are much greater than specified when looking at the program through a

CANADIAN RECLAMATION s Spring/Summer 2023 79
Mini-Equipment Consulting Costs $4,476 Rec Work with Mini Equipment $13,353 Helicopter $27,328 Total $45,157 Conventional Estimate Access Costs $105,000 (27km @ $3,888/km) Consulting and Rec Work $20,000 Total $135,000 TOTAL SAVINGS =
372.6 225.17 182.5 292 137.67 292 191.85 49.5 190.45
Athabasca/Cold Lake Central Alberta East Central Alberta Fort McMurray
Grande Prairie Oil Sands Peace River/Slave Lake Rainbow/Zama Southeastern Alberta
Consulting Costs $4,476 Rec Work with Mini Equipment $13,353 Helicopter $27,328 Total $45,157
ESTIMATE Access Costs
Consulting and Rec Work $20,000 Total $135,000
Suite 300 6 Roslyn Road Winnipeg Manitoba Canada R3L 0G5 Toll Free:1 866 831 4744 | Toll Free Fax: 1 866 711 5282 www delcommunications com We offer outstanding personal service and quality in the areas of: CREATIVE DESIGN | ADVERTISING SALES TRADE PUBLICATIONS | QUALIFIED SALES & EDITORIAL TEAM DEL Communications Inc and you, THE KEY TO SUCCESS .



has been a great year not just for our industry, but for Ernco Environmental as well. Our 15-year milestone has brought leadership, knowledge and extensive growth to our clients requiring support throughout their Phase 1, 2, 3, 4 programs. Ernco is backed by an outstanding team of professionals with many years of experience who are always happy and willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done safely and efficiently. We continue to provide exceptional environmental and geotechnical drilling, hydrovacing, test-pitting, imaging, injections, packer testing, slashing, mulching, fencing, portable washrooms, and site security services

that you have been used to for the past 15 years.

In 2017, with some confidence from putting several test pitting programs under our belts, we decided to further educate ourselves on offering remedial excavations as another huge step in providing the “all-inclusive” services we’ve always aimed to achieve. Starting out with a couple of small projects a year on up- and downstream sites, we have grown to the point where we’re offering full start to finish remedial excavation programs.


While the world was on hold during the

COVID-19 pandemic, Ernco Environmental made the strategic decision to purchase Empire Line Locating then rebrand as Empire Geophysics & Locating, a division of Ernco Environmental. This division was created solely to support our consulting clients. Empire’s mandate is to provide our consulting clients with reliable utility locates, near-surface geophysics including terrain conductivity surveys using EM31 & EM38, electrical resistivity tomography (ERT), and ground-penetrating radar (GPR). Empire also provides high-resolution orthomosaic site photographs and topographic surveys using the latest commercial drones that incorporate real-time kinetic corrections.

80 CANADIAN RECLAMATION s Spring/Summer 2023
“At Ernco, our goal has always been to support our clients every step of the way through all inclusive service. From project planning to further project development and execution.”
- Owners Josh and Amanda Ernst
(403) 596-5902 8027 Edgar Industrial Drive Red Deer, AB T4P 3R2 403-887-1490 At Ernco, our goal has always been to support our clients every step of the way through all inclusive service. From project planning to further project development and execution. Let our support become your success. • Phase 1 Drone: EM 31 & EM38, ERT and GPR Surveys, etc. • Phase 2: Locating, Drilling, Hydrovacing, Test-Pitting, Snow Clearing, Rig Mats, Fencing, Slashing, Etc. • Phase 3: Remedial Excavations, etc. • phase 4: reclamation, etc.

Important & Fun Fact: Empire Geophysics & Locating is permitted to practise near-surface geophysics with APEGA. Empire retains a Professional Geophysicist with over 20 years of near-surface geophysics and environmental consulting experience in Alberta and Western Canada. Their experience with groundwater, soils, surface water, and environmental regulatory requirements ensures that Empire’s clients receive sound and pragmatic advice. All geophysical reports are reviewed and signed by them, ensuring the consultant’s reports meet Alberta’s legislative requirements for the practice and reporting of near-surface geophysical surveys. Empire’s Geophysicist is also authorized with APEGS to interpret and report on near-surface geophysical surveys in Saskatchewan.

Empire has made an experienced drafting and geographical information system (GIS) team available to our clients that

create high-quality drawings, including geophysical survey figures, site diagrams (including field survey results from soil and groundwater investigations), borehole logs, remediation, and reclamation planning figures. For our geotechnical and engineering clients, this team is capable of drafting figures that support these

types of reports and investigations using AutoCAD Civil 3D.

Thank you again for supporting Ernco Environmental throughout the past 15 years. We’re looking forward to working with you for many more.

“I have been working with Ernco since 2008 and have consistently used them for a wide range of drilling and environmental services. I recently hired them for the first time this summer to complete two remedial excavations. As usual, I was impressed with the quality of their work and professionalism. Their onsite staff provided excellent technical support and open lines of communication. Ernco has proven to be a very consistent and reliable contractor.”

82 CANADIAN RECLAMATION s Spring/Summer 2023


Founded in 1980 and based in Massachusetts, Clean Harbors (NYSE: CLH) is North America’s leading provider of environmental and industrial services. The company serves a diverse customer base, including most Fortune 500 companies. Its customer base spans several industries, including chemical, energy, and manufacturing, as well as numerous government agencies. These customers rely on Clean Harbors to deliver a broad range of services, such as end-to-end hazardous waste management, emergency spill response, industrial cleaning, maintenance, and recycling.

Through its Safety-Kleen subsidiary, Clean Harbors is also North America’s largest re-refiner and recycler of used oil and a leading provider of parts washers and environmental services to commercial, industrial, and automotive customers.

Clean Harbors Project Services teams

can provide support for large waste projects utilizing one of our hazardous waste landfills and/or incinerators. Our internal drilling, daylighting, surveying, mulching, in/ex-situ remediation expertise can add value to any reclamation/remediation program.

Project services across Canada (some services exclusive to Western Canada only) include:

• Line locating

• Phase II drilling and GWM installation

• Surveying

• Excavation, transportation, and disposal of high-haz waste via truck/rail to incinerator/landfill

• Soil stabilization/solidification

• Activated carbon/chemo-ox/microbial applications in-situ/ex-situ

• CleanInject using high pressure mobile injection unit

• Interceptor trenches, reactive barrier walls

• Materials processing – dredging, dewatering, geotubes, land spreading

• Mobile water filtration treatment, design, O&M using activated carbon, polymers, resins

• PFAS treatment and disposal options

Clean Harbors operates throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and India. For more information, visit or contact

CANADIAN RECLAMATION s Spring/Summer 2023 83

The CleanInject™ System

The Right Equipment

It takes the right equipment to meet the challenge of any project. The CleanInject™ System, is designed to make in-situ projects easier. We specialize in glacial tills, silts and clays as well as fluvial deposits, sand and gravel. Our equipment excels in fractured sedimentary bedrock, limestone and shale, along with igneous bedrock containing granite and shield.

The Right Products

Clean Harbors® knows the in-situ remediation process. Our specially designed activated carbon products have been formulated to take the guesswork out of the in-situ injections. Some of these products include AC 7™, a formula used for reductive dechlorination. Another safe and effective product is NAC™. This formula is used to capture and neutralize hydrocarbons and promote endemic stimulation. Many industries with high exposure to the use of chemicals rely upon us for this type of technology to help keep them safe and reduce costs associated with downtime.

Inject safety and dependability into your next remediation project.

Clean Harbors® has over 20 years of experience with in-situ remediation. We continually strive to develop techniques that are less intrusive to the environment with sound, cost-effective solutions to complex project conditions. Our trained employees know the involvement of these projects and we can provide the know-how to reduce cost and risk to you and your employees.

In Any Environment

Each location contains various environmental factors when it comes to the remediation process. Even the the elements can play a part. Cold weather locations are never a problem when it comes to our state-of-the-art technology. We offer a fully self-contained, heat sourced and mobilized worksite to always keep the job moving.

Clean Harbors® CleanInject™ System is the right choice for your toughest projects. Our specialized equipment and products, combined with our highly trained staff, are second to none. Let Clean Harbors® remediate harmful contaminants on your next project.


Hodgson Contracting is recognized as a trusted partner in restoring Alberta's natural landscape. With 22+ years of experience completing oilfield remediation and reclamation (Rem/Rec) projects, we have a track record of success − having received AER certificates for more than 1,000 reclamations with a zero revisit rate.


We provide end-to-end solutions for remediation and reclamation projects − restoring White Zone land to full agricultural capacity and Green Zone land to its natural productive capacity. Our capabilities include a wide variety of activities within the following service categories: remediation, reclamation, spill response, and trucking.


Our corporate framework and business processes were designed specifically to streamline operations, enabling us to deliver superior quality and value. Customers benefit significantly from our integrated approach to project management. Our modern and maintained diverse fleet of equipment, implements, and trucks ensure maximum productivity onsite.


Through the years, we have built a team

that is passionate about providing the best service possible for our clients. Our crews consist of long-term team members recognized not only for their quality of work and safety records, but for their technical expertise as well. Our foreman and lead hands confidently and effectively direct our onsite crews to provide efficient and unmatched service.


Hodgson Contracting is 100 per cent Indigenous owned. As a proud member of the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business, we are strongly positioned to support oil & gas producers and environmental consulting firms in completing the important work ahead. To date, we have completed several successful projects funded by the Site Rehabilitation Program, with the ability to apply for 100 per cent of project costs being covered by SRP funding.


Hodgson Contracting provides a multitude of cost-saving procedures for our customers, ensuring projects are completed within budget. We only charge for the equipment we use − when we use it. While we have a reputation steeped in history and superior performance, we’re also known for our innovative solutions and future-forward thinking, honed through

years of practical problem-solving experience in the field.


Doing it right the first time is a guiding principle we subscribe to, and quality is recognized as a cornerstone of our work. Working together with integrity underpins and solidifies the relationship we have with our customers and our Hodgson team members. From the first contact to the site visit and through to project completion, you can be assured of the value you receive from Hodgson Contracting.

Connect with us to learn more about our services and ability to assist you in completing your upcoming Rem/Rec projects. We’d be happy to provide you with a quote, and if you have any unique challenges or special requirements, put us to the test and we’ll come up with the best solution.

(O) 780.542.6655, ext 2

(C) 780.621.8888

(O) 780.542.6655, ext 3

(C) 780.621.7755

86 CANADIAN RECLAMATION s Spring/Summer 2023

TerraLogix Solutions Inc. is built on providing excellent environmental management services while still providing cost effective environmental solutions for the Upstream Oil and Gas Industry.

Areas where TerraLogix Solutions Inc. personnel have a proven record of performance:

• Wellsite Reclamation and Pre-construction Assessments

• Phase I Environmental Audits/ Acquisition and Divestment

• Liability Assessments

• Phase II Environmental Assessments

• Contaminant Investigation and Remediation both on small and large scale projects for contaminants including but not limited to process chemicals, hydrocarbon, salt water, sterilants, metals, and sulfur

• Flare Pit, UST, AST, Cumulative Release and Spill Remediation

• Facility Decommissioning

• Tier II Risk Management and Risk Assessments

• Soil Monitoring Program Development and Implementation

• Waste Management Program Development and Implementation plus specific waste issues management (e.g. waste characterization and disposal)

• Environmental Training

• Complete Environmental Management

Suite #323, 3750 46 Avenue SE Calgary, AB T2B 0L1 Ph. 403.217.7787 7343 Roper Road NW Edmonton, AB T6E 0W4 Ph. 780.461.7707 #1 631 South Railway Drive NE Redcliff, AB T0J 2P0 Ph. 403-866-8746 WWW.TERRALOGIX.CA TERRALOGIX@TERRALOGIX.CA


In the early 1960s, Texas Gulf announced and began production at the Kidd Creek Mine in Timmins, Ontario and shortly after realized that they had an issue with the stability of the soil around their new open pit. Seeing an opportunity to help, Herman Keller, a horticulturalist from the Toronto area, headed north to see if he could lend his expertise and help with a solution. As they say, the rest is history.

In 1965, Erocon was born. An erosion control contractor with the goal of addressing challenges in reducing soil erosion using vegetation establishment, Erocon still shares a healthy relationship with its first client nearly 58 years later.

Erocon has been involved in many prominent projects throughout the Porcupine Camp as well as across Ontario and Quebec, reaching as far as Labrador and even Florida. One such project was the reclamation of the Dome Mine tailings along Highway 101 between Timmins and South Porcupine in 1968. Frequent dust storms made the drive to South Porcupine treacherous at times. Today, EROCON’s early work has made way for a nearly ful-

ly reforested area free of dust and erosion concerns.

In the mid-1980s, Herman’s son Hans Keller took the reins of the company further establishing Erocon as a premier mine reclamation contractor, providing a wide spectrum of mine closure services including shaft capping, demolition, revegetation, and the decommissioning of old and abandoned mines. Erocon went on to offer further services in relation to site services and support for several mining and industrial clients. At the time, Erocon was one of the few private contracting firms in Canada specializing in land reclamation.

To better serve its expanding client base, Erocon was moved to Central Ontario in the early 2000s, and a new partnership formed when Jim Mitchell came onboard as Erocon’s new Vice-President and General Manager. Under the direction of this newly formed team, EROCON continued to thrive. Jim would later become the primary owner and president of the company. In July of 2019 – after a 21-year absence from Northern Ontario – Erocon came home to Timmins. Current Co-owners Jim Mitchell and Dwight Chorney contin-

ue to provide the same unrivaled, professional services the Keller family based the company on. Both long-term employees of Erocon and the Kellers, Jim and Dwight bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the table.

New and more advanced equipment, products, and techniques have enhanced the reclamation process but Erocon’s main principles and practices remain intact after 58 years: the establishment of a permanent, self-sustaining, maintenance-free vegetation cover using existing soils where possible. Erocon attains these goals using specialized equipment and its many years of experience working on hard to access terrain.

Erocon continues to provide land reclamation and revegetation services, including hydroseeding, broadcast seeding, erosion control, demolition, exploration support, earthworks, excavation, and more. The Erocon team invites all its past, current, and prospective clients to visit our newly updated website at and follow us through our various social media accounts.

88 CANADIAN RECLAMATION s Spring/Summer 2023

Mining, Industrial and Construction

Land Reclamation & Re-vegetation Services


Lime Spreading

Right of Way Clearing

Landfill Management

Broadcast Seeding


Selective Land Clearing

Site Development

Erosion Control


Exploration Support

Dust Abatement

EROCON Environmental Group Inc.
90 CANADIAN RECLAMATION s Spring/Summer 2023 360 Energy Liability Management IFC ACE Vegetation Service 46 Alberta Society of Professional Biologists 45 ALS Global 49 Clean Harbors Environmental Services 84 & 85 Concordia University of Edmonton 35 De Beers Group 71 Earthmaster Environmental Strategies 53 ECBverdyol Biotic Earth 38 & 39 EcoLogic Consultants Ltd. OBC Environmental Material Science Inc. IBC ERIS – Environmental Risk Information Services 47 Ernco Environmental Drilling & Coring Inc. 81 Ernst Conservation Seeds LLP 35 Erocon Environmental Group Inc. 89 Good Lands Environmental, Inc. 51 Great Excavations Inc. 12 & 13 H3M Environmental Ltd. 77 Hodgson Contracting Ltd. ........................................................ 5 Hoskin Scientific 27 JED Anchors & Environmental Ltd. 51 JSK Consulting Ltd. 4 KenCo Environmental 57 KF Aggregates Recycling Inc. 23 Kiwetinohk Energy Corp. 69 Knights Spraying Inc. 58 Lakeland College 25 Lethbridge College 55 McCallum Environmental Ltd. 56 Morgan Construction & Environmental Ltd. 50 NAIT 65 NATS Nursery Ltd. 6 North Shore Environmental Consultants Inc. 6 NorthWind Land Resources Inc. ............................................. 9 Olds College of Agriculture & Technology .........................29 Panther Geoscience ..................................................... 18 & 19 Portage College ........................................................................ 21 Professional Vegetation Managers Association ...............42 Project Forest 36 Ram River Environmental Consultants Ltd. 44 Salix Resource Management Ltd. 35 SNC•Lavalin Inc. 69 Tannas Conservation Services Ltd. 17 TerraLogix Solutions Inc. 87 Terrene Environmental Consulting Ltd. 35 Think Envirotechnical Services Inc. 59 Trace Associates Inc. .............................................................. 67 Tree Canada 61 TreeTime Services Inc. ............................................................32 Tundra Environmental & Geotechnical Drilling Ltd. 37 University of Alberta ............................................................... 75 Vertex Resource Group Ltd. 31 West Country Energy Services ............................................... 3 Western Sky Land Trust 16 Whiterock Ventures, Inc. 33 INDEX TO ADVERTISERS YOUR KEY TO ONLINE & PRINT PUBLISHING SUCCESS. We offer outstanding creative and sales services: • E-newsletters • Online directories • Websites • Full print publications (including magazines, directories, newsletters)
It starts with the land. Through breadth and depth of experience, we provide reason and logic to resource planning and management. EcoLogic Consultants Ltd. 224 - 998 Harbourside Drive North Vancouver, BC V7P 3T2 604-803-7146 • Reclamation Planning and Costing for simple & complex sites • Reclamation Implementation, Monitoring, and Reporting • Community Collaboration (training and capacity development) • Native Plant Propagule Collection • Soil and Erosion Management • Planting Prescriptions and Installations • Remote Sensing, Spatial Analysis, and Conceptual Modeling • Environmental Assessments and Permitting
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