Land reclamation on old mining land is required by state, federal, and local regulations. In fact, mining companies must have a plan in place for land reclamation before the mining process even begins. And land reclamation continues long after the mine is closed, continues for as long as it has to.
So what are some effective methods of mining land reclamation?
- Returning the overburden to the exhausted mine and covering with topsoil. This is one of the first steps that should be taken after the mine is finished.
- Replant topsoil with native vegetation. This is the basis from which life can begin to re-take hold of the area. Once this happens, the old mining land really starts to return back to it’s natural beauty.
- Old mining land is oftentimes turned into a wildlife habitat. This is great for local animals such as birds, fish, frogs, etc. so that they have a nice home to live. It’s turns the ugly scar of a mine into a lush habitat where wildlife can flourish.
- Exhausted mines are sometimes filled with water to become small ponds or lakes, allowing a great habitat for fish, geese, and the predators that live off of them, to thrive. They also make great fishing spots!
- Development: Build parks, golf courses, and farmland on top of the reclaimed land. This means jobs!
Mining land reclamation is an extremely vital part of the mining process that cannot be neglected. The alternative to mining land reclamation is land that looks like, for lack of a better word, hell. And possibly hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines. Maybe even millions. Ouch.
What is the value of natural beauty? Can you put a price on the above photos? Which one is obviously worth more, and how much exactly is it worth? The short answer is that it’s priceless.
The long answer is that it takes a lot of work and knowledge of restoration ecology to achieve the above results. Restoration ecology is the scientific study and practice of renewing and restoring degraded, damaged, or destroyed ecosystems and habitats in the environment by human activity.
At least some of Nevada’s habitat loss is due to the state’s mining industry. Environmental degradation is due to erosion, the creation sinkholes, decreased biodiversity, soil contamination, groundwater and surface water contamination. Sometimes, forest logging is done around of mines which increases the degradation. Contamination resulting from leakage of chemicals can also affect the health of the local human and animal populations.
Habitat loss is the leading cause of both species extinctions and ecosystem service decline world-wide. There are two ways to reverse this trend of habitat loss: conservation of currently viable habitat and restoration of degraded habitats.
There’s only one company in Nevada who has been doing this for over two decades: Soil-Tech. They are Nevada’s top experts when it comes to habitat restoration.
Above is a photo of Nevada’s Goldstrike property and a perfect example of why land reclamation for mining in Nevada is such a big deal. The deep pits created by the intensive mining process are an ugly scar on the earth while the penalties for not reclaiming the land can reach upwards of $100,000 a year.
Clearly, either for economic or ethical reasons, the land must be reclaimed and the natural habitat restored as much as possible to a pristine wilderness. And, with gold prices (as of October 19, 2010) at $1,335 and silver prices $23.77, large-scale precious metal mining will only be increasing. Mining is not just about opening a mine and mining, it’s also about closing mining facilities and land reclamation.
When mining and subsequent processing are complete, all buildings and equipment must be removed and the area left in a clean, environmentally-safe condition. You should know that a significant part of closing a mining/processing operation is the removal of any chemicals that may later cause problems in the environment.
There are many varied aspects to reclaiming mines and restoring the habitat, things such as plant restoration, or soil stabilization. These ensure that life will return to the gigantic and dangerous pit that we have created, and will also ensure that the land will be beautiful again.
Soil Tech, The Land Reclamation Experts
From Mother Nature’s perspective, human construction projects are not very constructive at all; rather they are very destructive. Construction projects, while beneficial towards human progress only in general, can end up leaving a blight upon the landscape. Without a professional land reclamation firm that knows how to handle the dirty work, your abandoned construction site could end up looking like this for years, or, dare I say, decades.
Big jobs such as does would be done in conjunction with a construction firm.
Land reclamation is a process in which damaged land is restored to its natural state. Using our Permeon™ simulated desert patina varnish, soil stabilization from our Soil Mitigation division (and many other services) we are able to heal the land and clean up the construction site so that it looks like a natural landscape once again. It is no easy task, but the end result is….priceless.
Soil-Tech President Jerry Stanley walks through a wash his company restored after development at MacDonald Highlands.
Question: What would Las Vegas look like without Soil Tech?
Answer: A whole lot uglier.
Soil Patina Before and After
Are you a builder who also loves Mother Nature? Or are you just a businessperson who needs to make a living but has to abide by EPA standards? Then do yourself a favor and call Soil Tech and ask about their land reclamation services. They will heal the land and make it beautiful again.
Habitat Restoration is a Vital Service!
Since our inception almost two decades ago, we at Soil-Tech have positioned ourselves as the leader in habitat restoration solutions for the greater Southwest.
Land developers and residential builders know what a visual nuisance their construction sites can be after they have finished their project. There are also however, strict state and EPA guidelines that have to be adhered to with regards to habitat restoration if taking care of the environment just isn’t your thing.
But isn’t this:
much nicer than this?
How do we accomplish this? In many ways. For one, we at Soil Tech leverage our knowledge of desert flora to restore the surrounding environment to the point where you wouldn’t be able to tell it was once a construction site. Also when we plant the flora, we’ll even go so far as to place the native plants at seemingly random intervals so that it appears natural.
Another way we engage in habitat restoration is color mitigation services using Permeon™ , which is a rock scar solution that give rocks a “natural look.” Look at the photo below to get a better feel for what I mean:
And we do many, many, MANY other services as well. We are THE premier experts at habitat restoration in entire Southwest region. Be sure to check out our website for more information!