Former Brenda Mines site could become compost and natural gas facility | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Former Brenda Mines site could become compost and natural gas facility

Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Pixabay
May 25, 2021 - 8:00 AM

If all goes according to plan, the former Brenda Mines site could be used as a natural gas and compost facility.

During a Peachland committee of the whole meeting last week, councillors heard from Glencore and Brenda Renewables Ltd which oversees the project that has been in the works for several years.

The District of Peachland received a letter from Glencore in March providing notification that Glencore had applied for Crown tenure over a five-acre section of previously disturbed land at the Brenda Mines site for the construction of the project. This application was made Feb. 11.

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Mark Tenbrink, reclamation manager at Glencore, and others involved in the project provided an update May 11, on the proposed anaerobic digestion and compost facility.

The project would divert organic waste and biosolids from Oliver to Merritt to produce methane and renewable natural gas and class A organic compost.

The system is designed to ensure there won’t be odor, noise or emissions discharged from the site. If constructed, the facility could process local municipal waste, yard waste and biosolids, Tenbrink said.

The main purpose of the operation would be to enhance the revegetation of the disturbed areas at the Brenda Mines site, he said. It would also allow local municipalities to divert organic waste from the landfill and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The former open-pit mine closed operations in 1990. It is currently closed to the public and in the mature stage of its reclamation process, Tenbrick said. The compost operation would be limited to the former mill and plan site.

The project has three phases. The first would be a pilot project producing roughly 5,000 tons a year of compost in 2022. Phase two is the construction of anaerobic digestion diverting about 95,000 tons of organic waste from landfills to produce up to 10,000 tons a year of compost and natural gas that would be supplied to Fortis.

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The third phase would use 145,000 tons of organic waste to produce 25,000 tons of compost and natural gas.

Biosolids that Peachland produces are currently sent to West Kelowna before being trucked to Alberta for incineration, said Rolfe Phillips, vice president for project development at Brenda Renewables.

It would provide five or six jobs once in the third phase. The goal is to make 50% of natural gas in Peachland produced at the site, said chief operations officer at Brenda Renewables Matt Malkin.

There are 40,000 tons of biosolids produced in the region and once at full operation, Malkin said roughly they hope 50% of that will be composted at the facility.

No biosolids would be applied to the mine site and any excess liquid would be sent to a local wastewater treatment facility, Tenbrick said.

The project still requires approval from the Ministry of Environment for the operation of anaerobic digesters and consultation is underway with local First Nations groups.

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