Thompson Creek Metals wins mine reclamation award

The award recognizes Thompson Creek/Centerra Gold's construction of three over-wintering ponds for rainbow trout.

by Peter Caulfield
Jonathan Buchanan, director, Information and Public Affairs for the Association for Mineral Exploration British Columbia (AME BC)

Jonathan Buchanan, director, Information and Public Affairs for the Association for Mineral Exploration British Columbia (AME BC) — Photo: Robert Hawkins

Vancouver-based Thompson Creek Metals Inc. recently won the British Columbia Technical and Research Committee on Reclamation’s 2015 BC Jake McDonald Annual Mine Reclamation Award. (Note – Thompson Creek was purchased by Centerra Gold in October, 2016.)

The award was presented at the 40th Annual BC Mine Reclamation Symposium of the British Columbia Technical and Research Committee on Reclamation (TRCR). The event was held in Penticton in the fall of 2016.

“For 40 years, the Mine Reclamation Symposium has provided an opportunity to share with the public some of the best and most innovative work that mining companies do in restoring land and fish and wildlife habitat,” said Jonathan Buchanan, 2015-2016 chairman of the TRCR, in an announcement.

“This year, we are pleased to recognize Thompson Creek Metals Company Inc. with the Jake McDonald Annual Mine Reclamation Award for its work at the Mount Milligan Mine in north-central BC.”

The Mount Milligan Mine, which produces gold and copper in concentrate form, is located approximately 155 kilometres north of Prince George, between Fort St. James and Mackenzie.

The award recognizes Thompson Creek/Centerra Gold's construction of three over-wintering ponds for rainbow trout, a component of a fish habitat compensation plan that was approved by federal and provincial authorities in June 2010 before the copper-gold mine began production in 2014.

“By the end of winter, natural ponds in northern B.C. may become short of oxygen, because they are covered over with thick ice,” said Tim Caldwell, environmental superintendent at the Mount Milligan Mine. “Because the three new ponds provide the trout with additional oxygen, they can act as an improvement on nature.”

The ponds also create habitat for wildlife, insects, birds and amphibians. They were built by Duz Cho Logging, which is owned by the McLeod Lake Indian Band.

As part of the 40th symposium, the TRCR also awarded the Jake McDonald Memorial Scholarship to three B.C. students.

The lucky winners are Marika Green, an undergraduate student at Thompson Rivers University in the bachelor of natural resource science program; Katie McMahen, who is enrolled in the master of science program in the Faculty of Forestry at the University of British Columbia; and Paul Antonelli, who is in the master of science in environmental science program at Thompson Rivers University.

More than 160 persons signed up to attend the 40th Mine Reclamation Symposium. The 41st symposium will take place in Williams Lake between September 18 and 21, 2017.

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