Lauréat Argent : Gary Johnson, directeur du service de l’environnement (ROBU), Kettle River-Buckhorn

Silver Award Winner: 
Gary Johnson, 
Director of Environmental Services (ROBU), Kettle River-Buckhorn

As the Director of Environmental Services (ROBU), Kettle River-Buckhorn, Gary faces a difficult task – transitioning the mine from an operation site to a remediation site. .

Kettle River ceased mining in the fall of 2017, and soon began remediation activities before the winter season. Gary led this project with a focus on reducing time, energy and costs, with the goal of accomplishing these important tasks conscientiously, efficiently and quickly, all in an innovative way.

On two occasions, Gary and his team completed their tasks ahead of time and on budget. The team first rehabilitated the transportation route from the mine to the plant in five weeks, while the schedule included eight. Then she transferred the Buckhorn Mine to the ROBU in six weeks instead of eight. The rehabilitation initiatives at Buckhorn have been so efficient that the Company has saved hundreds of thousands of dollars, thus optimizing the site’s cash flow.

In 2018, Gary and his team safely removed all the infrastructure, but also completed the restoration of the site relief and restoration of vegetation cover in the area. He then developed an innovative method to encapsulate the sulphate-containing rocks at the site, instead of transferring them to the tailings management facility 50 miles away.

“Gary’s dedication and hard work did not go unnoticed by his colleagues and members of the community,” said a colleague. “Its goal was to guarantee a closure as successful as our operation could have been. Indeed, he is aware that the fruit of our rehabilitation initiatives will represent what we will bequeath to future generations. “

Gary’s commitment to his community and his passion for the mining industry is a family legacy as he comes from a line of miners. His father, Tom Johnson, the 2015 LOVA winner in the “Strong Social Awareness” category, worked for a long time as a mining geologist at Kettle River-Buckhorn before retiring in 2017. Watch the video of the father-son duo’s mining journey here .

Gary observes the rehabilitation site 

Gary and his father, Tom Johnson, former laureate LOVA

Gary and Tom