Reclamation Example: From a Tailings Pond to a Trout Pond

December 01, 2016

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.


First Published on December 01, 2016