Closure Example: Cooperative Planning for Land Uses After Mining

October 17, 2016

Location: Hinton, Alberta
Type: Steelmaking coal mine
Active: 1969 - 2004
Status: Status: Ongoing reclamation of former mining areas; end land use plan established

The Luscar mining area, located in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains at our Cardinal River Operations in west-central Alberta, operated from 1969 until 2004 when its steelmaking coal resources were largely depleted. 

While a portion of the area with infrastructure including the processing plant, continues to support the active mine, much of the disturbed lands are in the midst of reclamation. Once reclamation is complete, these post-mining lands will be returned to the provincial Crown, so it was important to Teck that a Land Management Plan (LMP) process be initiated. Teck acted as a catalyst in engaging provincial agencies and regulators to define a land management plan to facilitate this future transition. Together, a Working Group was developed to initiate Luscar & Gregg River Mines Land Management Planning process.

Through this process, a collaborative planning approach that incorporated views from a diverse group of local stakeholders – including government, other mining companies, recreationists, conservationists, Indigenous peoples and local communities – was undertaken. Those discussions led to the development of focus groups and working groups and ultimately the development of strategies to meet the end land use objectives.

In 2012, the Luscar & Gregg River Mines Land Management Plan was signed by the Crown.  It provides guidance on future management of reclaimed lands, with specific focus on conservation values, ecological health, and public access.  

The LMP for Luscar is focused on achieving the following outcomes: 

  • Ensuring wildlife and fishery resources and habitats were healthy, productive and sustainable
  • Keeping water and watersheds healthy, productive and sustainable
  • Developing effective education, enforcement, monitoring and stewardship approaches
  • Advancing sustainable recreational opportunities
  • Pursuing commercial and industrial opportunities compatible with the plan

To date, over 1,300 hectares – an area larger than 2,400 football fields – have been reclaimed so far at the former Luscar mine. 

First Published on October 17, 2016