The non-profit organisation hopes to provide a necessary educational function by distributing information about useful processes, tools, courses and case histories where landuse design can improve the outcomes of mine reclamation projects.
Landform design is an emerging practice that draws together civil and mining engineering, ecology, geochemistry, and other fields to reclaim mine lands. It allows industry, regulators, and local communities to share their experiences and expertise.
"Reclamation is practiced at just about every mine. But reaching a satisfactory outcome requires a stronger emphasis on setting clear goals and then delivering on those goals using a more inclusive and multi-disciplinary approach to design and construction," said project lead, veteran geotechnical engineer Gord McKenna.
The LDI expects potential short-term projects to include a graduate-level landform-design university course, a textbook and a series of workshops devoted to sharing the latest knowledge in the field.
The institute is seeking participants from around the world and will be exploring sponsorship opportunities in the coming months. A major milestone toward landform design will be a 40-hour course to be presented for the first time at the University of Alberta from December 5-10.
The long-term goal is ensuring former mine lands receive regulatory sign-off, are accepted by local communities and meet land use goals. A key objective is to get people back onto reclaimed land as soon as possible.