Staying local is key for the reclamation work at the Victor Diamond Mine.
De Beers Canada says environmental reclamation work at the mine site near Attawapiskat started last year but is now getting into full swing. The company has built a greenhouse on site where seeds that are gathered from the local area are nurtured into saplings to be planted. The greenhouse can hold up to 100,000 plants and an on-site crop box to help the plants grow can hold another 20,000.
Reclamation Technician Jessica Dyczko says they are using local plants because you know that they will survive and thrive in a community so far north. There is a group of youth in the Attawapiskat area that collects seeds and brings them to the mine site. Dyczko says “95 per cent of the seeds that we use for the seeding are collected locally or are native to the area.” She says they do have to supplement commercial seed for some of the direct seeding “just to get the quantity that we need.” She says the seeds will start growing in the greenhouse before being transferred to the ground. The reclamation team can farm two crops a year, producing about 240,000 seedlings each year.
Dyczko says the reclamation group has been planting in areas that the mine is done with. “This year we will be planting almost half a million trees.” She says next year the plan is to plant 700,000. According to one of the employees on the site, Millson Forestry Service of Timmins will be flying up to help with the planting.