Xstrata Copper’s Kidd Operations launches project to give local birds a wing up

This article was provided by the Ontario Mining Association (OMA), an organization that was established in 1920 to represent the mining industry of the province.

Xstrata Copper’s Kidd Operations has launched an avian biodiversity project in partnership with R. Ross Beattie Senior Public School in Timmins. The Raptor Nesting Project is taking flight through the support of a $1,500 donation from the Kidd Operations’ Community Partnership Program to the Technological Studies program at the school. The goal is to enhance the habitat and breeding success of local raptor species such as falcons, ospreys, owls and eagles.

As part of the project, students will construct four nesting platforms for birds of prey, which will be installed at sites near the Kidd Mine and its metallurgical plant. Ontario’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Aboriginal traditional knowledge will be involved in the selection of the location of these platforms.

“In line with Xstrata’s Corporate Sustainable Development Policy, Kidd Operations is committed to preserving the long-term health, function and viability of the natural environment around our operations,” said David Yaschyshyn, Superintendent of Environment at Kidd Operations. “The goal of this project, therefore, is to help enhance the unique biodiversity of our region now and in the future once our operations cease.”

“As part of our efforts to encourage the community to participate in sustainable environmental endeavours, we have partnered with R. Ross Beattie Senior Public School and its Technological Studies students to construct these four nesting platforms,” added. Mr. Yaschyshyn. “This will provide students with an opportunity to gain both hands-on woodworking experience and increased knowledge of the biodiversity of the community.”

“On behalf of the students at R. Ross Beattie, we are very grateful for the opportunity provided by Xstrata Copper Kidd Operations,” said school Principal Al McLean. He believes the project will give students practical applications of their course work and a chance to positively improve the local environment.

Though nesting platforms are frequently used in Southern Ontario to combat habitat fragmentation caused by development and agriculture, they are not often used in Northern Ontario, where there are more extensive tracts of forest. However, the availability of nesting platforms will encourage birds to use them instead of existing buildings, electrical infrastructure and communications towers, which can negatively impact the survival rates of young birds. Other conservation groups have experienced success with selected nesting platform siting.

Xstrata Copper is the fourth largest copper producer in the world. Its products are used extensively in electronic, consumer and building products. Copper is a highly recycled material and with its use in new green technologies, it is playing a vital role in building a sustainable future. It has operations and projects in eight countries employing 20,000 people.

Xstrata Copper Canada’s Kidd Operations in Timmins produce copper and zinc concentrates. The site employs approximately 1,400 people including contractors. This mine, which started operations through predecessor companies in 1965, is the deepest base metal mine in the world.

Since 2007, Kidd Operations’ Community Partnership Program has provided more than $1.9 million to community organizations and projects with $735,445 of that amount donated in support of local community and social development projects and initiatives. Mining companies are responsible, solution-providing partners in society. They do more than find, extract and process minerals essential to our modern lifestyle. They volunteer and add great value to the quality of life in their communities and beyond.

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