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northeast region

Soab South Mine Site Tree Plant

August 26 and 27, 2010 ten members of Thompson Ventures planted 15,000 trees at the Vale (Inco) rehabilitated Soab South Mine Site approximately 75 kilometres south of the City of Thompson, Manitoba.

The Soab south ore body was discovered in 1953.  Mining of this ore body occurred between 1969 and 1971.  The mine was on standby mode until 1982, at which time major underground equipment was removed.  A five year decommissioning plan of Soab South Mine Site began in 2001.  The decommissioning plan included the removal of all buildings, hydro poles and fencing, capping and sealing of all openings.  The mine site was also leveled, contoured and capped with clay/organic soils.

Once all structure was removed and soil in place, the site was seeded with a grass mixture and an initial tree plant of 10,000 black spruce seedlings were planted in 2007.  The black spruce seedlings suffered from exposure and health and vigor issues.  Though the majority of these trees are alive, very few are vigorous.  It was decided in 2009 to attempt another tree plant, this time with 15,000 jack pine.  The Manitoba Trees for Tomorrow program was the perfect fit for this tree plant.

In August 2010, 15,000 jack pine were planted by 10 Thompson Ventures.  Experience has shown that jack pine does better on these type of sites, follow-up monitoring of health and vigor will occur in the future.  The Thompson Ventures raised money from this tree plant for their trip to Sweden in 2011.  The Ventures are attending an international jamboree in Sweden in July 2011.  The Ventures had great enthusiasm and did a quality job on this mine site rehabilitation project. 

The Northeast Region of Manitoba Conservation has been very active with mine site rehabilitation the past five years.  All sites are challenging and have their own unique characteristics.  For more information:

Bruce Holmes
Regional Forester, Northeast Region
Manitoba Conservation

soab tree plant

Tree planters at the Soab South Mine Site 2010

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