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Successful trials lead to commercial scale reclamation with bio-solids : an update on GVRD bio-solids application to copper mine spoils

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Title: Successful trials lead to commercial scale reclamation with bio-solids : an update on GVRD bio-solids application to copper mine spoils
Author: Duthie, David; Peddie, Craig Cameron, 1956-; Salahub, Donna
Issue Date: 1994
Publicly Available in cIRcle 2010-02-17
Series/Report no. British Columbia Mine Reclamation Symposium 1994
Abstract: In May of 1993, at the Seventeenth Annual Mine Reclamation Symposium, the GVRD described the implementation of two demonstration projects on copper mine spoils in Princeton , B.C., using hydraulic application and several methods of solids spreading on a range of substrate materials and terrain conditions. This discussion reports on the results and conclusions of that work. Vegetation in the first growing season was spectacular on plots at the Granby Tailings Pile. Application rates of between 55 and 180 dry tonnes/ha resulted in establishing a crop of mixed grasses and legumes yielding between 1700 kg/ha and 5800 kg/ha on literally barren ground. At the highest application rate, organic matter was raised from zero to nearly three percent, one-half the typical level of Princeton rangeland. No indication of nitrate leaching was observed in the soil profile although mass balances indicated higher volatilization man expected. No measurable increases of metals levels in the resultant soils were observed., Two plots received second applications and tillage trials in September of 1993. Hydraulic application to steep slopes of waste rock heaps at the Similco Mine proved successful in promoting a vegetative cover. The bio-solids coating adhered to the rock and resisted washing down the slope. Areas with existing vegetation showed significant benefit from the fertilizer values. The use of graders proved difficult for controlling lift thickness in flat applications resulting in a sealing effect on available soil substrate but better vegetation was established on scarified areas. For all plots, there were no indications of nutrient movement beyond the applied areas. 192 Proceedings of the 18th Annual British Columbia Mine Reclamation Symposium in Vernon, BC, 1994. The Technical and Research Committee on Reclamation Wood wastes were incorporated into some of the test plots at the Granby site and were found to be very useful in nutrient management and developing soil structure. The unqualified success of these developmental projects has provided strong justification and the technical "know-how" to embark upon a program of commercial-scale operations. The GVRD has applied for permits to reclaim approximately 40 ha at each site in 1994 to commence ongoing programs.
Affiliation: Applied Science, Faculty of
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2429/20357
Peer Review Status: Unreviewed

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