The Drift: Trees, bees, fish and seeds: Vale’s biodiversity initiatives helping to recharge Sudbury’s landscape – by Lindsay Kelly (Northern Ontario Business – March 22, 2022)

Modest greenhouse in city’s Copper Cliff neighbourhood is at the heart of unique reclamation program

On a cool, mid-winter morning, the outside temperature in Copper Cliff, just outside of Sudbury, has dipped to -10 and a fresh coat of newly fallen snow is blanketing the area. But inside the greenhouse owned by nickel miner Vale, it’s a balmy 29 degrees.

It’s rare for international mining companies to have greenhouses listed among their assets, but from the glass-walled facility, nestled at the end of a cozy street in a residential neighbourhood, Vale has happily been churning out thousands of tree seedlings annually since the 1950s.

That’s when the company — back then known as INCO — devised a plan to grow trees in-house, which would then be planted in the surrounding area. It was an early acknowledgement of the need to help the area’s vegetation regenerate following years of mining, noted Quentin Smith, a project engineer in the environmental department of Vale’s Sudbury operations.

“Vale understood, even way back then, that we had had an impact on the landscape, the ‘Sudbury moonscape,’” Smith said, invoking the unflattering nickname applied to the city in the 1970s.

For the rest of this article: