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2015-Sustainable Industrial Processing Summit
SIPS 2015 Volume 4: Meech Intl. Symp. / Mining Operations

Editors:Kongoli F, Veiga MM, Anderson C
Publisher:Flogen Star OUTREACH
Publication Year:2015
Pages:275 pages
ISBN:978-1-987820-27-0
ISSN:2291-1227 (Metals and Materials Processing in a Clean Environment Series)

    Mine Closure Planning of the New Afton Mine with the Stk'emlupsemc te Secwepemc Nation

    Benjamin Collins1; Dirk van Zyl2;
    1, Vancouver, Canada; 2UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA, Vancouver, Canada;
    Type of Paper: Regular
    Id Paper: 472
    Topic: 4

    Abstract:

    The goal of this research is to understand the traditional knowledge of the Stk'emlupsemc te Secwepemc Nation to try to improve reclamation and closure planning of the New Afton Mine. Furthermore, to provide insight into consultation with First Nation communities for closure and reclamation planning. The New Afton Mine site, located 10 km west of Kamloops, BC is in the traditional territory of the Tk'emlups te Secwepemc and Skeetchestn Bands. The New Afton Mine Permit M-229, issued by the B.C. provincial government, establishes the criteria for the site's reclamation planning, which includes a statement to require reclamation back to traditional aboriginal uses where appropriate. This research analyzes what considerations need to be taken into account when planning for sustainable traditional aboriginal uses post-closure.
    Interviews with knowledge keepers were conducted to understand the relationship between plant life, wildlife, water sources and the Stk'emlupsemc te Secwepemc traditional use pattern in the area. Site visits to both the Stk'emlupsemc te Secwepemc Nation and New Afton Mine site have taken place during this research study. Visits to the New Afton property focused on determining and understanding the different areas of disturbance. Visits with the Stk'emlupsemc te Secwepemc members were aimed to engage, recognize and understand their objectives for the long term post-closure use of the mine site.
    The results and analysis from this research found there showed an extremely strong connection between the community's culture and the environment. Hunting, fishing, medicinal and nutritional plant gathering were discussed as the key traditional land uses in the area. The New Afton Mine was seen as an old stop-over ground for travelers in the region. Concerns over the impacts of the site's tailings and possible contaminants to the environment (water, wildlife and plant life) were extensively discussed. Bringing back the land to a natural state was outlined as the most desirable outcome for closure. The technical constraints of the property, how the property being considered a brownfield impacts the closure and reclamation outcomes were also discussed (subsidence zones, semi-arid conditions, etc.). Finally, through the interviews and field notes, it was found that proper consultation and collaboration with First Nations communities rely on respect of their culture, establishing trust and flexibility during negotiations.

    Keywords:

    Ecosystems; Mining; Sustainability; Tailings;

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    Cite this article as:

    Collins B and van Zyl D. Mine Closure Planning of the New Afton Mine with the Stk'emlupsemc te Secwepemc Nation. In: Kongoli F, Veiga MM, Anderson C, editors. Sustainable Industrial Processing Summit SIPS 2015 Volume 4: Meech Intl. Symp. / Mining Operations. Volume 4. Montreal(Canada): FLOGEN Star Outreach. 2015. p. 85-86.