Composite tails technology was used to fill in the former East Mine area which is now under active reclamation.
Composite Tails (CT) combines fluid fine tails with gypsum and sand as tailings are deposited in a mined-out area. This mixture causes the tailings to settle more quickly and release water. CT is then capped with sand and soil, enabling the development of landscapes that support grass, trees and wetlands. This technique was used to fill in the former east mine pit, which is now under active reclamation.
Construction of the 52-hectare Sandhill Fen research watershed was completed in 2012 and results to date are surpassing expectations. After four growing seasons, the plant community continues to develop and plant health is comparable to that found on a natural site. A 2015 vegetation diversity study showed that almost half of the wetland area is characterized by peat-forming species, and there are 87 plant and 23 moss species. As well, a wide variety of wildlife is inhabiting the watershed, including rodents, bats, frogs and birds.
Learn more about the fen watershed research project and composite tailings reclamation in our Sustainability Report.