An engineering firm is promoting Highland Valley Copper — a mine site — as a regional or provincial landfill. The company will gauge community acceptance of the idea at an open house in Logan Lake in August.
Tony Sperling, a partner in Sperling Hansen Associates, sees a public meeting as crucial in any preliminary plan because TeckCominco Ltd. (the mine owner) won’t co-operate without the townspeople agreeing with the concept.
Sperling pioneered the concept in North America of using rock dumps as landfills at the Gibraltar Mine near Williams Lake. He believes the rock dumps — rather than the mine pit itself — at Highland Valley Copper are best suited for the import of Lower Mainland garbage rather than the Ashcroft Ranch, which was purchased by the Greater Vancouver Regional District in 2000 for use as a landfill.
The GVRD has invested millions of dollars in the Ashcroft project and is in a multi-year approval process. Logan Lake Mayor Ella Brown said that town council is co-operating with Sperling. The mine is slated to close in 2009; it’s located about 10 kilometres west of the town.