BRITISH COLUMBIA The Fording River metallurgical coal mine near Elkford has won the 2003 Citation for outstanding achievement for reclamation at a coal mine. The award was made at the 28th Annual British Columbia Mine Reclamation Symposium Awards ceremony held in Cranbrook on June 23. This is the eleventh reclamation award that the Fording River mine has won for its environmental and land management programs since mining operations began in the early 1970s.
On behalf of Richard Neufeld, B.C. Minister of Energy and Mines, Fred Hermann, Chief Inspector of Mines, presented the award to Roger Berdusco, Fording River’s administrator of environmental services.
“This award is a credit to everyone at the mine,” said Berdusco. “Employees at Fording River are committed to returning mined lands to equivalent productivity. In fact, we began to conduct research into the development of optimal reclamation techniques in 1969 before the mine opened. This research, along with field studies, continues today as we work to enhance our knowledge on species selection, establishment timing, and techniques to allow successful reclamation that will translate into an improved ability to re-create specific habitat elements.”
To date, employees at Fording River have successfully reclaimed approximately 600 hectares to specific land uses including moderate yield forestry, and both winter and summer range for large ungulates. They have also restored the fisheries values to the diversion of the Fording River and to the re-established Henretta Creek.
Roger Berdusco can be contacted at 250-865-5675.