Denali Mine Reclamation - Environment

Lake converted from Final Pit

The lake provides open water habitat that did not exist before mining. The lake and stream are home trout and grayling. Fishermen report the grayling fishing is better than it was before mining. The reclaimed area is utilized by a variety of birds and animals including ptarmigan, ducks, beaver, brown bear, moose and caribou. (pictures taken July and September, 2011)

Main Stream Channel Construction

2 miles of the main stream channel of Valdez Creek were reconstructed in near original location.

The portions shown below are naturally forming braided channels in the reclaimed area.

Perennial and ephemeral stream construction

Contoured drainages for surface water runoff were part of the final reclamation plan. Perennial streams and ephemeral streams now flow through the reclaimed area into the reconstructed main channel

Constructed Wetlands

During mining operations a series of ponds were created to remove sediment from water used in the mining operations. As part of the reclamation plan, the ponds were left as open water habitat. Wetlands vegetation has grown naturally in the ponds. The ponds are fed by ground water and surface water runoff. They are connected by free-flowing channels and ultimately flow into Valdez Creek. In addition to the habitat they provide, the ponds continue to function in their original sediment removal capacity, and they serve as stream buffers during periods of high surface water runoff.