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Reclamation Example: From a Tailings Pond to a Trout Pond

December 01, 2016

Reclamation Example:  From a Tailings Pond to a Trout Pond

The Trojan Pond reclamation site has become an excellent community resource for environmental education and outdoor recreation. Over the past several years, the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC has delivered Learn to Fish programs for youth and their families, as well as participated in various other tremendously popular fishing events hosted by Highland Valley Copper. - Mike Gass, Manager of Sport Fishing Development, Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC

Highland Valley Copper near Logan Lake, British Columbia
Type: Copper mine
Active: 1962–today
Status: Progressive reclamation of former mining areas during ongoing mining activity

Trojan Pond at our Highland Valley Copper Operations near Kamloops, B.C. was once a working tailings pond. Through the work of our environmental officers and aquatic biologists, it has been reclaimed into a naturally functioning, self-sustaining lake ecosystem, complete with healthy populations of fish. 

The process of transforming Trojan Pond into a functioning ecosystem began at the very bottom of the food chain. First, phosphorus and nitrogen were added to the pond to balance out the nutrients already present and get the base of the food chain started. Then, we introduced bacteria, which are a key component of ecosystems. Once the bacteria were established, we introduced algae to the mix. Algae help create a healthy habitat for fish by removing much of the metals present in the water. 

Zooplankton, tiny organisms that eat algae, are also introduced. Once a population of zooplankton was established, we began to introduce fish. 

Trojan Pond has now been self-sustaining for 20 years and serves an important role both in ongoing research on tailings pond reclamation techniques and as a recreational area for the community. Highland Valley Copper hosts multiple fishing derbies at Trojan Pond each year, with funds raised going to support charities in the region.

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Teck is a diversified resource company committed to responsible mining and mineral development with business units focused on copper, zinc, steelmaking coal and energy.