A temporary use of the land at Highland Valley Copper

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 85, No. 962, 1992

Poul Hansen, President, Highland Valley Copper, Vancouver, British Columbia

In mid-1986, a world-class mining enterprise was created in Highland Valley, British Columbia, bringing together the copper mining operations of Lornex and Cominco. In 1988, Highmont joined the new partnership. Highland Valley Copper is the largest copper mine in North America in terms of both tonnage mined and tonnage milled, and it is one of the largest in the world. Due to its relatively low ore grade its production of copper in concentrate ranks about ninth in the Western World. The current eighteen year mine plan is based on ore reserves of 761 million tonnes. The daily milling rate is 133 000 tonnes. At the end of mine life, a total area of approximately 6500 hectares will have been disturbed. At this time, vegetation has been established on about 600 hectares and while work will be done during the operating years, it will not be until the end of mine life, about 2008, that the last half of the land can be reclaimed and revegetated. Once final reclamation has been accomplished, Highland Valley Copper will have completed its "temporary use of the land". In the meantime, about 1250 people have had employment for about 50 000 man years, at wages ranking among the best in Canada.