Biosolids rejuvenate mining wasteland: Reclamation project at Vale tailings ponds in Copper Cliff wins award – by Karen McKinley (Northern Ontario Business – July 13, 2018)

In the decades-long efforts to regreen the Sudbury basin, Vale is reporting its Copper Cliff Tailings Project using biosolids is continuing to be successful. So successful, the groundbreaking project recently won an award and plans are in the works to apply it to other reclamation projects.

The Copper Cliff Tailings Project, a joint effort by Vale and Terrapure’s solutions division, Terratec Environmental, has been running for about five years and continues to show positive and even surprising results.

“We are doing this for two reasons: dust control and covering the area with vegetation for long-term closure plans,” said Glen Watson, superintendent of environment decommissioning and reclamation for Vale Canada. It recently won the Water Environment Association of Ontario’s 2018 Exemplary Biosolids Management Award.

To win that award, Watson said, shows how important the project is, as well as how much their innovation is appreciated by the industry and environmental protection groups.

The project started with Jeff Newman, director of business development, approaching Vale with the opportunity to start a pilot re-vegetation project in the Copper Cliff tailings.

Biosolids had not been used in mining reclamation before this. The company was interested as the tailings are difficult to regreen naturally, due to the acidic and nutrient-poor content and sandy texture of the material.

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