Authors: Tashe, N; Hantler, L

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Tashe, N & Hantler, L 2022, 'Achieving landscape-scale social and ecological recovery for successful mine closure', in AB Fourie, M Tibbett & G Boggs (eds), Mine Closure 2022: Proceedings of the 15th International Conference on Mine Closure, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 845-856,

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Mines operate in biodiverse and culturally diverse regions of the globe. Mine restoration through design and construction of landforms and establishment of vegetation may result in a different landscape that can impede the capacity to return the social and ecology back to pre-mine conditions. There is a need to meet social and ecological restoration standards by defining impacts and providing mine owners with actions to implement during the life-of-mine to return to pre-mine condition. Ecologically based restoration standards aim to: Avoid or reduce the area of disturbance particularly rare or sensitive ecosystems where feasible. Minimise disturbance by prioritising mine activities in already disturbed landscapes wherever possible. Reduce the recovery timeline to the extent possible by implementing progressive reclamation beginning with safe, stable and non-polluting landforms; and when long-term impacts are unavoidable. Conducting offsetting which can be in the form of monetary programs that support large-scale recovery efforts, protection of critical habitat or offsite recovery of legacy mines and other adjacent degraded landscapes in order to move towards ecological and social net gain. To illustrate, we present restoration examples from Peace River Coal’s Trend-Roman Mine near Tumbler Ridge, British Columbia, Canada. The history of mine activities will highlight the following examples of: Where key areas were avoided. Where mine expansion can use existing disturbance to protect social and ecological values. Shortening the recovery timeline by restoring the land building blocks. Measures to show net gain through land offsetting and understanding the role of indigenous communities and stakeholder needs for re-establishing the social and ecological use on landforms.

Keywords: restoration, coal, caribou, water quality, principles, offsetting, indigenous

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