Smelter Lake Afforestation

PDF version
Envirogreen Technologies Limited

Smelter Lake is a 100-hectare copper mine tailings pond located near Princeton, British Columbia. Reclamation of these fine-textured tailings is challenging due to their lack of structure, organic matter and fertility.

Following several years of research, operational reclamation was initiated. Significant aesthetic and air quality improvements have since been recognized, concurrent with increased slope stability and vegetation establishment.

Arising from the success of this reclamation project, SYLVIS undertook large-scale afforestation of the Smelter Lake tailings.

The goal of this project was to develop a Canadian showcase for biosolids recycling, carbon sequestration and environmental stewardship. Biosolids were used in deep row applications to establish trees on the tailings. Moisture in the tailings is supplemented by runoff from surrounding hillsides. The trees, with biosolids as a nutrient source, assist in soil development, reduce wind erosion, create habitat, sequester carbon, and provide a valuable crop.

In completion of the Smelter Lake afforestation project, SYLVIS provided turn-key management services including developing operations plans, site preparation, transportation and placement of biosolids, planting of vegetation, silvicultural expertise and reporting.