Environmental Monitoring at the Lehigh – Sechelt Mine

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Client: 
Lehigh Hanson Materials Limited

The Lehigh – Sechelt mine reclamation program was initiated in 1998 in order to progressively reclaim the mine using residuals including biosolids and pulp and paper residuals.  SYLVIS worked with Lehigh and the Ministry of Environment to develop a mine reclamation program which capitalizes on synergies between the need for residuals management and mine reclamation.

The Lehigh – Sechelt mine reclamation program is conducted in accordance with a Ministry of Environment Permit.  As professional and technical experts in biosolids management, SYLVIS ensures the mine reclamation program far exceeds the requirements of the Permit.

Residuals used in the mine reclamation program are sampled throughout the year to assess regulatory compliance, determine nutrient concentrations and calculate residuals application rates.

Annual soil sampling is conducted before and after residuals applications in each discreet reclamation area in order to monitor the nutrient and trace element status of the soil.  This information, in conjunction with residuals analyses and the nutrient requirements of the vegetation, is used to calculate appropriate residuals application rates.   These rates are calculated each year for each reclamation area.

Quarterly water sampling has been ongoing at the mine site since 1999 and includes both surface and groundwater quality monitoring.  Quarterly surface water samples are collected upstream and downstream of the mine in order to determine potential surface water impacts.  Groundwater quality is also monitored quarterly near the southwest and northwest borders of the mine site. The monitoring program has demonstrated that surface and groundwater quality have remained consistent since the inception of the water monitoring program.

The environmental monitoring program completed by SYLVIS provides assurance that the residuals are being used sustainability, providing environmental benefits concurrent with meeting reclamation objectives.