Special to the Tribune/Advisor
Industrial Update 2019
To mitigate and reduce the influence of mining operations on the surrounding environment, Gibraltar Mine regularly undertakes a variety of environmental protection initiatives including conservation and relocation of amphibians.
With the assistance of Triton Environmental Consulting and ?Esdilagh First Nation, the mine undertook an initial site assessment and determined specific ecosystems characteristics and verified amphibian species present in a wetland area adjacent to mining operations.
Amphibians identified as using the wetland as breeding and overwintering habitat included Columbia Spotted Frog, Northern Pacific Tree Frog, Western Toad, and Long‐toed Salamander.
From May until the middle of July 2018 the wetland was gradually drawn down to facilitate collection of amphibians. A variety of capture techniques and devices were used — pit fall traps, minnow traps, dip nets, and seine nets. Over 1,100 adults, tadpoles and egg masses were collected and successfully relocated to Valerie Lake where the amphibians continued to thrive.
Planning for environmentally responsible activities throughout the full mining lifecycle is part of Gibraltar’s commitment to conservation. Activities like the 2018 amphibian salvage program are the reasons why the Gibraltar Mine operation is an industry leader in environmental management and protection.
Gibraltar Mine wins safety award: safest mine in B.C.
For the fourth time in the last five years — 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2018 — Taseko’s Gibraltar Mine has won the John Ash Award for having the lowest injury frequency rate for the provincial largest mines, those that log a minimum of 1,000,000 worker hours per year.
The award was established in 1961 by the Province of British Columbia to recognize the safety record of mines in this province.
Landon Benson is the environmental co-ordinator for Gibraltar Mines Ltd.