Archive | Green Mining

Copper Cliff Superstack dismantling will begin in 2020, Vale says (CBC News Sudbury – September 19, 2018)

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/sudbury/

380-meter chimney has loomed over city since 1970

Mining giant Vale says that the Superstack will be standing on Sudbury’s skyline until 2020, at which point the iconic structure will be slowly taken apart.

Angie Robson, Vale’s manager of corporate affairs, told CBC News that with recent pushes by the company to reduce emissions, the stack has simply outlived its usefulness. “It’s simply too big for our needs, given the reduction in emission we’ve been able to achieve,” Robson said. “So it’s going to stay in service until 2020.”

The 380-metre high stack was built in 1970 to disperse sulphur gases and other byproducts of the smelting process away from the city. “It’s simply too big for our needs, given the reduction in emission we’ve been able to achieve,” Robson said. “So it’s going to stay in service until 2020.” Continue Reading →

$1 billion later: Vale completes its Clean AER project: Superstack to be decommissioned as miner reduces emissions by 85% – by Arron Pickard (Sudbury Northern Life – September 14, 2018)

https://www.sudbury.com/

The largest single environmental investment in Greater Sudbury is now complete. Vale celebrated the completion of its $1-billion Clean Atmospheric Emissions Reduction project on Friday, achieving an 85-per-cent reduction in previous sulphur dioxide emissions and a 40-per-cent reduction in metal particulate emissions.

Dave Stefanuto, director of projects for Vale’s North Atlantic Operations, said the completion of the has been 10 years in the making, and was no small undertaking. This size and scope of the project was massive, considering the company continued to operate with no interruptions.

“We began in earnest in 2008, and broke ground in 2012, but the project has evolved over the years,” Stefanuto said. “We decided to move to a single furnace operation in 2013, which resulted in a greater reduction in emissions we had originally estimated.”

There are three core elements to the project: new converters in the smelter facility; the new wet gas cleaning plant, and; a new secondary baghouse facility. Continue Reading →

Vale celebrates completion of emissions reduction project – by Harold Carmichael (Sudbury Star – September 15, 2018)

 

https://www.thesudburystar.com/

Scientist David Pearson still has a vivid memory of a “bad air day” when he was getting out of his car at Laurentian University in the early 1970s, prior to the Inco Superstack being built.

“I ran from my car to get in the building,” he recalled, during a press conference Friday at the Vale Copper Cliff Smelting Complex. “It was not a pleasant experience.” Friday’s event marked the end of the mining company’s six-year, $1-billion Clean Atmospheric Emissions Reduction project.

It involved the construction of two new converters, which have special hoods to capture sulphur-dioxide gas, and a new wet-gas cleaning plant that captures 85 per cent of the sulphur-dioxide emissions previously emitted by the Superstack.

As well, Clean AER introduced a baghouse/fan building that acts like a giant vacuum cleaner, reducing metals particulate emissions by 40 per cent, and a pair of new 450-foot stacks that will be more efficient to operate than the Superstack. Continue Reading →

NEWS RELEASE: Vale Celebrates Completion of $1 Billion Clean AER Project

Ricus Grimbeek, Chief Operating Officer of Vale’s North Atlantic Operations speaks at Vale’s Clean AER Project Completion Celebration.

Sudbury, ON, September 14, 2018 — Today Vale Canada Limited announced the completion of its CAD $1 billion Clean AER (Atmospheric Emission Reduction Project) with a celebration near its Smelter Complex in Sudbury, Ontario.

“The completion of our Clean AER Project is a historic milestone that demonstrates how far we have come as a company in reducing our environmental footprint,” said Ricus Grimbeek, Chief Operating Officer of Vale’s North Atlantic Base Metals Operations and Asian Refineries. “It is something that all of us at Vale and our local community can be very proud of.”

Vale’s Clean AER Project is the largest single environmental investment in Sudbury’s history, achieving an 85% reduction in previous sulphur dioxide emissions and a 40% reduction in metal particulate emissions. Continue Reading →

New technology from Finland will clear the smog in Nikel – by Thomas Nilsen (The Barents Observer – August 20, 2018)

https://thebarentsobserver.com/en/

New equipment for mineral processing has arrived to Zapolyarny, where Nornickel’s subsidiary Kola Mining and metallurgical Company’s concentrator plant is located. The equipment is made by Outotec in Finland and includes processing technology for filtration, thickening, flotation and analyzer equipment.

When is full operation, the new technology will make it possible to separate rich quality materials from ore with less nickel. By separating out the nickel-rich concentrates, much of the sulfur will be removed before shipped to the smelter in the town of Nikel.

Consequently, the emission of sulfur dioxide (SO2) will be reduced substantially. The run-down plant in Nikel has for decades been a torn in cross-border relation in the Barents Region as the pollution hits neighboring Norway and Finland as well as the fragile taiga-forest on Russia’s own Kola Peninsula. Continue Reading →

Cobalt mining conference taking shape – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – August 10, 2018)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

Land rehabilitation, mining legacy and cobalt exploration are featured topics at September event

There’s definitely a dual meaning that applies to the inaugural Green Mining Conference being held in the Town of Cobalt this September.

For decades, the northeastern Ontario community of 1,100 endured the environmental legacy issues left behind by the town’s famed Silver Rush at the turn of the last century; something Agnico Eagle Mines has spent considerable time and money on to clean up old mine workings.

At the same time, Cobalt is back on the world stage as an exploration hotspot for its namesake metal that’s powering the expanding electric vehicle battery market. Continue Reading →

These Massive Renewable Energy Projects Are Powering Chilean Mines – by Laura Millan Lombrana and Jamey Stillings

https://www.bloomberg.com/

A surge in solar, geothermal, and wind development is helping to wean the industry off imported fossil fuels.

Minerals are so abundant in Chile’s northern Atacama Desert, you can get copper just by kicking the mountain—or so says one of the miners’ favorite proverbs. A century after many of the mines there were first opened, finding copper—or gold, or lithium, or iron ore—isn’t that easy.

The concentration of minerals in the earth decreases as the miners dig deeper, meaning companies need to process more ore to extract the same amount of metal, a messy and highly polluting process to begin with. To fuel that effort, they need vast amounts of energy.

Chile has little in the way of fossil fuels, leading it to rely on imports and making electricity there extremely expensive. In 24 of the last 30 years, the country’s energy prices were higher than the world average; at its peak in 2011, the price per kilowatt-hour reached $150.90, almost double the global average. Continue Reading →

Miners test greener ways to dig – by Rhiannon Hoyle (Wall Street Journal/Toronto Star – July 16, 2018)

https://www.thestar.com/wsj/

Miners are considering new ways to make the dirt they dig up green.

Across the U.S. border in Quebec, a research facility will fine-tune a technology that its owners—Alcoa Corp. and Rio Tinto PLC—believe could turn aluminum smelters carbon-free for the first time. Another initiative under way in Sweden could see hydrogen replace coking coal in manufacturing steel.

Miners have long seen investing in technology as a way to bring costs down and protect profits during swings in the global economy. But a new force for change has recently emerged: customers such as Apple Inc. and Audi AG that see a marketing advantage in ensuring their products are cleaner and greener than before.

Nestlé SA’s coffee brand Nespresso, for example, wants to source all the aluminum for its capsules from sustainably managed operations by 2020, which includes strict limits on greenhouse-gas emissions. Continue Reading →

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

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

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. Continue Reading →

Vale nets enviro award – by Staff (Sudbury Star – July 9, 2018)

http://www.thesudburystar.com/

Vale’s Sudbury Biodiversity Program has been been recognized nationally. Vale received the national Towards Sustainable Mining Environmental Excellence Award from the Mining Association of Canada at an awards gala during the 2018 CIM Convention earlier this year.

“We are proud to be acknowledged for Vale’s biodiversity program in Sudbury,” said Lisa Lanteigne, environment manager for Vale’s Ontario Operations. “The program has been successful because of a sustained commitment to community collaboration and an innovative approach to environmental stewardship. The program exemplifies one of our core company values — Prize Our Planet.”

Vale’s biodiversity work in Sudbury focuses on regreening and reclamation efforts, transforming historically stressed lands and waterways back to their natural states after more than a century of mining activities. To improve biodiversity within the community, Vale undertakes a number of activities, including: Continue Reading →

First new all-electric mine dumps diesel; cuts costs, pollution – by Susan Taylor and Barbara Lewis (Reuters U.S. – June 21, 2018)

https://www.reuters.com/

CHAPLEAU, Ontario/LONDON (Reuters) – Hundreds of feet below thick boreal forest blanketing the Canadian Shield, a squad of near-silent, battery-powered machines are tunneling toward gold in a multimillion-dollar mining experiment to ditch diesel.

Goldcorp Inc (G.TO) (GG.N) is building the world’s first new all-electric mine, a high-stakes gambit to replace noisy, fume-belching equipment being closely watched by a diesel-dependent industry.

A rough-hewn tunnel, some 800 feet underground, seems an incongruous setting for revolutionary technology, but front-line workers call it a game changer. Continue Reading →

The diesel-addicted mining industry is finally embracing renewable energy, but it’s not just because of the environment – by Gabriel Friedman (Financial Post – June 11, 2018)

http://business.financialpost.com/

With diesel prices rising in tandem with oil prices, the quest for sustainability has pushed many companies to look closely at their energy usage

About a 10-hour drive northwest of Toronto, in an area with no history of mining and little exploration, Goldcorp Inc. is tunneling a hole, currently at least 120 meters below the pine tree forests and lakes that dot the surface, for what it hopes will be one of its most sustainable mines yet.

Borden, as the mine is to be called when it starts producing in 2019, will be modest in size at about 250,000 ounces of gold per year under current estimates.

But Goldcorp harbours big ambitions to make it the first all-electric underground mine in Canada where everything from the trucks that haul ore, to the ventilation system that provides oxygen to its subterranean workers, run off energy taken from the electrical grid. Continue Reading →

A remediation idea takes root: The growing evidence that willow trees could help clean up contaminated soil – by Christopher Pollon (CIM Magazine – May 24, 2018)

http://magazine.cim.org/en/

Université de Montréal plant biologist Nicholas Brereton is preoccupied with the science behind phytoremediation – the way that some plants, like willow trees, can tolerate and even remove heavy metals and hydrocarbons from contaminated sites.

CIM Magazine spoke with Brereton about this multidisciplinary endeavour and the revolutionary potential of nature to inexpensively clean up soil and water.

CIM: How did you get interested in the practical applications of plants?

Brereton: I grew up in Stoke-on-Trent, a city near Manchester in the UK. I got my PhD at Imperial College London, where I ran a biomass analytics facility with lots of different crops, like grasses and really fast-growing trees, which got me into looking at willows. Continue Reading →

NEWS RELEASE: CLEAN AER PROJECT NEARS COMPLETION AS TWO NEW STACKS EMERGE FROM VALE’S COPPER CLIFF SMELTER COMPLEX

SUDBURY, June 5, 2018 – Residents of Greater Sudbury may have noticed that the plume from Vale’s iconic Superstack has been much less frequent lately and that two new stacks are now emerging from the company’s Copper Cliff Smelter Complex.

Although the Smelter is in full production, a new Wet Gas Cleaning Plant has been commissioned and is capturing process gases and sulphur dioxide emissions previously emitted by the Superstack.

“The commissioning of the Wet Gas Cleaning Plant and construction of two new stacks signals that we are nearing completion of our Clean AER Project,” said Dave Stefanuto, Vice President of North Atlantic Projects and Base Metals Technology. “This historic milestone reflects years of dedicated effort from both our project and operations teams and is something all of us at Vale and in the City of Greater Sudbury can be proud of as we significantly reduce our environmental footprint in the community.” Continue Reading →

Canada’s mining industry learned from Mount Polley tailings dam disaster – by Pierre Gratton (Vancouver Sun – May 23, 2018)

http://vancouversun.com/

Pierre Gratton is President & CEO of The Mining Association of Canada.

I was pleased to read the column by Jacinda Mack and Loretta Williams in which they acknowledge the vital role minerals and metals will play in the transition to a low carbon economy.

B.C. products like metallurgical coal, copper and molybdenum are all critical to the supply of renewable energy technologies and zero-emission vehicles. B.C. and the rest of Canada’s mining sector have every reason to be a major, responsible supplier of these products to the world.

I also agree with their sentiment that there is an obligation on B.C.’s mining sector to provide these products responsibly. They call for stronger regulation of mines and for the adoption of industry standards, such as the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance, or IRMA. Here is where I can provide some important additional information on both topics. Continue Reading →