Five Year Reclamation Planning

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Lehigh Hanson Materials Limited

The Lehigh Hanson Materials Limited (Lehigh Materials) Sechelt Mine is one of the largest sand and gravel mines in North America. For over 20 years, SYLVIS has worked with Lehigh Materials in progressive reclamation activities and environmental stewardship at the Sechelt Mine. Organic residuals including biosolids, pulp and paper sludge, and lime mud are used as fertilizers and soil amendments. With the application for ongoing development of the sand and gravel mine, Lehigh Materials approached SYLVIS to develop a Five Year Reclamation Plan for submission with their Notice of Work and updated Mine Plan.

The dynamic nature of mining activities, multiple land owners, proximity to the town of Sechelt, and site specific considerations posed challenges in developing a short-term (five year) reclamation plan. The mine is located within the shíshálh Nation traditional territories and the final post-closure landscape and use will be developed and agreed upon together. Drawing from a decades-long legacy of reclamation work on the Sechelt Mine, SYLVIS delineated the site into ecological and logistical management units and developed reclamation objectives and activities for each unit. Recognizing that the final form of these areas is subject to change over the lifespan of the mine, the Five Year Reclamation Plan allowed for a multitude of beneficial hypothetical options, including coniferous woodlands, agroforestry, grasslands, and wetlands.

The five year reclamation approach at the Sechelt Mine will progressively transform disturbed portions of the mine site, re-establishing vegetation and diversifying potential wildlife habitat on these sites while maintaining the highest level of environmental stewardship. In addition to laying the conceptual groundwork for a final reclamation vision, the Five Year Reclamation Plan provided a jumping-off point for working with the shíshálh Nation on long-term land use planning on the Sechelt Mine.