Goldcorp’s Hallnor tailings clean-up going better than expected – by Len Gillis (Timmins Times – April 27, 2012)

Company expertise beginning to show results across the city

Land reclamation work by Goldcorp Porcupine Gold Mines continues in Timmins and the results appear positive. The company, which won an environmental award last year, for its work on the Coniaurum tailings project, is moving forward on the Hallnor tailings in the East End and a company official said the work is progressing better than expected.

Goldcorp PGM’s environmental manager László Götz, said this past week that the company is becoming so adept at reclamation work that the job is actually running more smoothly than expected. Götz was speaking at a meeting of the Porcupine Watchful Eye, a community group that oversees Goldcorp environmental operations in Timmins.

“The Hallnor Reclamation seems to be now going easier because of the experience we gained during the Coniaurum and Hollinger tailings reclamations. So I can say that our work is much better going than previously thought,” said Götz.

He is referring to the fact that Goldcorp has spent huge sums of money in the past five years to restore old tailings properties to a more natural state.

The once wretched Coniaurum area, previously described as an environmental disaster, has become a rolling meadow complete with lush grasses, shrubs, trees and even wildlife. Bears and foxes are now a common sight there.

On the financial side of the page, the reclamation work means the company can recover the millions of dollars it had to set aside to satisfy Ontario’s law with respect to mine closure laws. In Ontario, whenever a mining company acquires a mining property, it must set aside the cash, or a letter of credit, to cover the cost of restoring the land to a natural state for the day when the mine eventually shuts down. When Goldcorp took over older Timmins mining properties roughly 10 years, millions of dollars were set aside for closure plans on several historic mining properties.

Götz also had praise for project supervisor Roger Taillefer and contractors Chartrand Equipment, the Timmins firm that has become an integral part of the land reclamation process.

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