Mine Revegetation in the North: Meeting Yukon community expectations of reclamation success

Mine revegetation in northern regions presents many challenges including remote access and adverse climatic conditions. This project focuses on Minto Mine, in central Yukon and explores if the creation of shelter could improve the establishment and growth of boreal plants important to communities. The project aims to have First Nations and local input in regards to the types of plants that may contribute to revegetation success.

The Northern Mine Remediation program is working with it's Yukon Mine Consortium partners to address research issues relevant to the industry. Mine revegetation is one of these topics and will be explored in this four-year PhD project.

Project description

This project involves a field experiment at Minto Mine that uses Selkirk First Nation's reclamation objectives identified in Minto's Reclamation and Closure Plan as the basis for selecting target species. Six shelter treatments are designed to examine both physical and biological effects of shelter on target species establishment and early growth: snow fencing and rocks as inert physical shelter and alder, soapberry and mountain avens as living biological shelters. 

The project was established in the spring of 2020 and will continue for the next four years. The knowledge produced will support quartz mining reclamation and closure planning in Yukon and provide insights for businesses and entrepreneurs interested in the revegetation industry. 

Project team and funders

Team:
Dr. Guillaume Nielsen, NSERC Industrial Research Chair in Northern Mine Remediation, YukonU Research Centre 

Funders:
Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada, Mitacs, Yukon University's Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Weston Family Foundation and the Yukon Mining Research Consortium: Minto Explorations Ltd., Newmont Corporation, BMC Minerals Ltd., Victoria Gold Corp., Casino Mining Corp., Selwyn Chihong Mining Ltd., and Alexco Resource Corp.