Sylvis to support green coal mine reclamation project in Alberta

10 September 2019 2 min. read

The Department of Natural Resources announced $3.8 million in funding for the Biosalix program, a renewable energy coal mine reclamation project near Forestburg, Alberta. Sylvis, a BC-headquartered environmental consultancy, will lead the collaborative project.

The green project will use municipal organic waste to help grow a willow crop on the reclaimed mining land. The willow will then be used to create a woody biomass that can be used to produce renewable heat, energy, and other products.

The $3.8 million in federal funding for the Biosalix program will be sourced from Natural Resources Canada’s Clean Growth Program, a $155-million investment fund that supports emerging clean technologies. An additional $1.5 million and $2 million will be provided by Alberta Innovates and Emission Reductions Alberta, respectively.

Westmoreland Mining will provide the reclamation ground and part of the workforce, while Epcor Water Services will supply the municipal waste, and Bionera Resources will develop the willow plantation. NRCan’s Canadian Forest Service will also contribute research and expertise to the project, which will be led by consulting firm Sylvis.

Sylvis to support green coal mine reclamation project in Alberta

Sylvis specializes in residuals – the materials produced from manufacturing and treatment processes, including biosolids, ash, pulp residuals, and wood waste. The firm supports clients across the areas of composting, land reclamation, landfill closures, and biomass plantations, among others. Its offerings span research, regulatory and policy development, residuals management plans, and operational management.

The firm was founded in 1989, and has offices in New Westminster, BC, Edmonton, Calgary, and Washington State.

“The transition to a clean growth economy is one of the greatest challenges that faces Canadians today and one of the most critical for our common future,” John Lavery, principal scientist at Sylvis, said. “The BIOSALIX program embodies clean growth — the combination of technology and process to drive technical, carbon and social benefit — while meeting the challenges that today's society faces. It provides communities of all sizes the opportunity to transition and grow beyond natural resources into a clean technology economy.”

Amarjeet Sohi, Canada's Minister of Natural Resources, added, “Restoring mined land to a natural state contributes to our goal of growing the economy, creating jobs, and building the sustainable and competitive mining industry of tomorrow.”