Mine revegetation in the North

Mine revegetation in northern regions presents many challenges including remote access and adverse climatic conditions. This project with the Northern Mine Remediation research program, focuses on Minto Mine, a copper 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 regarding the types of plants that may contribute to revegetation success. 

The Northern Mine Remediation program is working with its Yukon Mine Consortium partners and the University of Saskatchewan to address research issues relevant to the industry. Mine revegetation is one of these topics and will be explored in this master’s 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 plant species. Five 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, 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 the Yukon and provide insights for businesses and entrepreneurs interested in the revegetation industry. 

Project team and funders

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

Ben Budzey, Master’s Student, Northern Mine Remediation, University of Saskatchewan in partnership with Yukon University  

Dr. Katherine Stewart, College of Agriculture and Bioresources, University of Saskatchewan 


Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada, Mitacs, Yukon University's Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Weston Family Foundation and the Yukon Mining Research Consortium: Casino Mining Corporation, Newmont Goldcorp, Selwyn Chihong Mining Ltd., Victoria Gold Corporation, Hecla Mining Company.