Mine Reclamation and Soil Fabrication

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Lehigh Hanson Materials Limited

SYLVIS worked with Lehigh Hanson Materials (Lehigh) in the transformation of Producers Pit, located approximately 20km southwest of Victoria, BC, from an active sand and gravel mine to a property suitable for community development.

In partnership with Lehigh and local biosolids generators, SYLVIS fabricated a biosolids soil product on-site for use in the long-term establishment of parks and green spaces as well as short term vegetation establishment for future development.

Class A biosolids from the Capital Regional District (CRD) and the Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN) were mixed on-site with sand and wood chips to produce greater than 22,000 m3 of soil for vegetation establishment activities.  This biosolids growing medium met the standards of the Organic Matter Recycling Regulation and was used as a cap for the graded mine fill.  With strong community support over 40 different soil blends were fabricated and evaluated and the optimal soil fabrication mixture was identified.  This operational program was developed and implemented over a three year period involving stakeholder consultation activities (i.e. open houses, tours and presentations) and the installation of demonstration plots constructed with various soil amendments.

Once the biosolids growth medium was applied plant establishment, ecosystem health and site aesthetics improved dramatically.  Operational soil fabrication, placement and vegetation establishment was completed with the successful closure and reclamation of the mine site. Site quality remained high even several years after initial topsoil placement.

Working with our partners at Lehigh, the CRD and the RDN, SYLVIS developed and implemented a reclamation approach using fabricated soil specific to the needs of the Producer’s Pit mine.  The SYLVIS approach created a valuable post-mining landscape with above-standard environmental results.