Reclamation & Closure
Our commitment to environmental stewardship extends beyond the end of mine operations. As an underground mine, the Brucejack Mine has a relatively small footprint at less than 61 hectares1. As part of our effort to minimize the environmental impact of our activities, the Mine was designed to limit our land disturbance. Our mine infrastructure is located underground, and the aboveground structures are compact and space efficient.
After mining is complete, we will remove surface infrastructure and restore the landscape to a stable and healthy condition. Per our current mine plan, submitted to government and shared with our Indigenous partners in 2020, closure activities will begin in approximately 10 years. Additionally, we are undertaking progressive reclamation of disturbed land that is no longer required for our operations throughout our mine life. While COVID-19 affected other areas of our operations in 2020, we were able to maintain our reclamation and revegetation activities, including revegetation of former staging areas along our transmission line corridor. Approximately 93 hectares of land have undergone revegetation and progressive reclamation to date.
Pretivm’s environmental management system includes provisions to minimize environmental impacts and we prioritize avoiding new disturbances wherever possible. The environmental management plans for the Mine address specific topics such as erosion prevention and sediment control, invasive plant, soil, and vegetation management.
Our environmental stewardship is supported by collaborations with regulators, Indigenous groups, external researchers and experts. Their input, along with the expertise of our in-house biologists and ecologists, informs the success of our reclamation program. We have collected a variety of native plant species from the area, such as willows and alders, and work with a nursery in Telkwa, BC, to propagate seedlings that we can use as part of our progressive reclamation program.
Although the planned closure of the Brucejack Mine is a decade away, we maintain a mine closure plan aligned with the requirements of our mining permit. The contents of this closure plan are regularly reviewed and updated and are subject to engagement with Indigenous groups and government agencies.
Claiming Her Place in the Mining Industry
Growing up just outside of Jasper National Park, our Director of Environmental and Regulatory Affairs Sylvia Van Zalingen has always had an affinity for the environment and being outdoors. While studying Wildlife Biology, she was introduced to mine reclamation and decided to pursue a master’s degree in Land Reclamation at Montana State University.
Sylvia has experience working in the mining industry at operating mines as a consultant, and as a Mines Inspector. “In my early work years, even as a Mines Inspector, there were a lot of sexist remarks and obvious assumptions by some that I couldn’t possibly know much of anything about mining,” she says, “but I never let it slow me down. The industry has made huge strides to encourage female participation during my 30 plus year career and I look forward to continued improvements.”
She ended up moving to Smithers after hiking in the mountains in the area and falling in love with northern BC. Due to her work as a mines inspector, she had the opportunity to experience many remote exploration and mining sites including Brucejack in the 90s. “Brucejack has been my most in depth path of being involved from planning through to operations,” she says. “I enjoy the exceptional people on our team. So many super capable and great human beings.” She wants to encourage everyone that has an interest in mining and the environmental field: “Do what interests you and makes you proud of your work and contributions. There are so many more opportunities for young people in mining and environmental sciences compared to when I started working.”