ONTARIO – Goldcorp of Vancouver has won the Tom Peters Memorial Mine Reclamation Award for its work on the Coniaurum property in Timmins. The award was presented at the Mining and Environment Conference held last month in Sudbury. The prize is sponsored by the Ontario Mining Association and Canadian Land Reclamation Association and the Ministry of Northern Development Mines and Forestry with the financial support of Vale SA.
The Coniaurum gold mine operated from 1913 until 1961 when a serious storm caused a breach in the tailings dams, causing a discharge and the shutdown of the operation. Goldcorp’s subsidiary, Porcupine Gold Mines, took ownership of the property in 2002. Reclamation began on the Coniaurum tailings which includes a 58-ha impound in 2005. Work was carried out to stabilize existing erosion channels, depression areas were filled, and biosolids were applied and topped with wild seed mix to promote vegetation growth.
The results of this work have stabilized the site, stopped suspended solids from the tailings area entering the Porcupine River and promoted other uses of the property. The use of biosolids as a cover and wild grasses promoted a self-sustaining environment, which encouraged the growth of other natural grass, shrub and tree species. This in turn has attracted wildlife, including several black bears. Honey bees were introduced in 2008 to promote additional pollination and plant development. This in turn has spawned into a greater number of healthy bee colonies and a budding honey industry.
According to the OMA, Goldcorp has taken the Coniaurum rehabilitation project one step further. Since 2008, educational tours have been carried out on the site. The company also works with the local Aboriginal community to promote applying traditional knowledge and practices to modern rehabilitation techniques.
More information and photos are posted at www.PorcupineGoldMines.ca.