Vale says it continues to upgrade its tailings dams in Greater Sudbury – by Jonathan Migneault (CBC News Sudbury – November 3, 2021)

Vale says it inspects its more than 40 tailings dams in Greater Sudbury every day

Two years after a dam collapse in Brazil that killed more than 250 people, Vale has said it has continued to upgrade its tailings dam infrastructure in Greater Sudbury.

In the last 15 years, the mining company has upgraded five dams in the Copper Cliff region which were built using what the industry calls the upstream method. That is when the tailings materials themselves — which are the rock waste byproduct of mine milling operations — are used to build a dam.

“Sudbury has 11 dams that were built using that construction methodology,” said Greg Puro, the geotechnical manager of dams for Vale Base Metals.

The upstream method is an older construction technique, but Puro said it is still widely used in mining jurisdictions around the world. The five upgraded dams were reinforced to withstand the maximum credible earthquake possible in Greater Sudbury. Puro said the remaining six dams are expected to be upgraded in the next six or seven years.

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