Cardinal River Mine Reclamation

March 14, 2023

Reclaimed area at Cardinal River Operations


With over 100 years of operating experience, we know that successful closure and reclamation is possible with careful planning and local engagement. Informed by that experience, our approach to mine closure begins before mining starts and carries on throughout the mine’s lifecycle. We work with Indigenous Peoples and local communities to develop closure plans focused on supporting economic and social transition after mining ends and creating a net positive impact on biodiversity. To do so, we work to establish thriving, self-sustaining ecosystems and create opportunities for a range of potential post-mining land uses.

In 2020, Teck’s Cardinal River mine in Alberta, which operated for 51 years, transitioned into closure. A large part of closing the mine consists of reclamation, with an overarching objective to successfully rehabilitate disturbed land to a self-sustaining state. Native plant species are used in reclamation because they are well suited to the local conditions, and also because wildlife species benefit from their reintroduction onto the landscape. This final closure work at Cardinal River builds on previous award-winning reclamation carried out progressively during the mine’s life.

Cardinal River Mine Reclamation 

Final closure reclamation work in the MacKenzie Redcap area at the east end of the property began in September 2021. Activities carried out here during operations included tree clearing, soil salvage, and the construction of an access road.  Rehabilitation of this 57 hectare area included filling in over 220 drillholes, reclaiming the land used for 94 drill pads, and reclaiming approximately 62 kilometres of road and trail networks. As part of reclaiming the roads and trails, work was also completed on stream crossings to ensure that the aquatic environments remain connected to each other and will be stable while conveying flows throughout the year.


Responsibly closing our sites and managing our legacy properties plays an important role in contributing to a nature positive future, by working to achieve a net positive impact on biodiversity over the life of our mines. Through reclamation, we can replace many of the natural ecosystem and wildlife habitat functions that existed on that site before mine development. Now the initial phase of final reclamation at Cardinal River has been completed, we will continue to monitor the water and reclaimed areas to confirm the effectiveness of the reclamation as we continue to rehabilitate other areas of the mine site.

Read more about Teck’s approach to Biodiversity and Closure.

First Published on March 14, 2023