Laurentian University cuts world-renowned programs – by Albrecht I. Schulte-Hostedde (Sudbury Star – April 28, 2021)

https://www.thesudburystar.com/

Sudbury is known as the city of lakes and for its famous regreening programs, yet university is slashing expertise in those areas as it restructures

Among the programs closed in Laurentian University’s “restructuring” were environmental science, environmental studies, ecology and restoration biology.

In a city of lakes, where Sophie Mathur has galvanized global youth around the climate crisis, where the regreening of the region has reached near mythological status, an undergraduate student cannot enter into an environmental or ecology program at Laurentian University.

Think about that. Why were Laurentian’s environmental and ecology programs closed?

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Laurentian University cuts could put groundbreaking mine waste research in jeopardy – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – April 17, 2021)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

Insolvency proceeding put acclaimed biomining project and pilot plant on the brink of extinction

One of the world’s top experts in mine waste cleanup was one of the casualties of the massive and deep program and job cuts at Laurentian University this week.

Dr. Nadia Mykytczuk, highly regarded as a microbiologist in bioleaching and mine remediation, was among more than 100 faculty and staff who received virtual pink slips on April 16 as part of the ongoing insolvency proceedings at the Sudbury university.

Laurentian’s School of Environment and staff and faculty at its Vale Living with Lakes Centre took a major hit among the 58 undergraduate and 11 graduate programs cut.

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Feds announce $7.1M for new wind turbines at Raglan mine – by Staff (Canadian Mining Journal – March 10, 2021)

http://www.canadianminingjournal.com/

As part of its climate efforts, the federal government is providing $7.1 million to Tugliq Energy to help fund the installation of two more wind turbines at Glencore‘s (LON: GLEN) remote Raglan nickel mine.

The operation, in the Nunavik region of northern Quebec, already has two 3-MW wind turbines, one constructed in 2014, and the second in 2018. The two turbines currently generate around 10% of mine power, saving over 4 million litres of diesel every year, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 12,000 tonnes.

Two more wind turbines would increase the mine’s renewable energy capacity to 12 MW and its energy storage capacity to 6 MW, and reduce diesel use by 6.6 million litres annually.

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Captured by another ‘green’ deal – by Terence Corcoran (Financial Post – March 10, 2021)

https://financialpost.com/

Missing the Texas market lesson demonstrating wind power’s weakness

The great new energy fantasies, the green new deals, the calls for massive multitrillion-dollar spending on wind and solar and hydro power and EVs, the plans to end the fossil fuel industry, the looming national and global summits to save the planet from climate change — on top of all this comes a new high-profile battle front in the Canadian war on carbon.

Carbon capture utilization and storage, commonly referred to as CCUS, is now the official focus of bureaucrats and industry executives following announcements from Ottawa and Alberta of a new joint working group.

The objective is to create the technology that will allow Alberta to literally capture and bury 30 megatonnes of carbon emissions by 2030.

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Sudbury regreening program nearing 10 million trees planted: Restoration story serves as model for global push toward land reclamation – by Lindsay Kelly (Northern Ontario Business – September 29, 2020)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

This autumn was supposed to herald a noteworthy milestone for the Sudbury regreening project: the planting of its 10 millionth tree.

But with the arrival of the novel coronavirus last March came a scaled-down 2020 planting season, and instead that marker will be celebrated in 2021.

Still, as year 42 of the one-of-a-kind land restoration initiative comes to a close, the organization leading the project believes that some areas of the city are nearing the point when human intervention will no longer be necessary and nature can start taking over.

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Two new smaller stacks are ready, decommissioning of Sudbury’s Superstack about to begin – by Molly Frommer (CTV News Northern Ontario – September 10, 2020)

https://northernontario.ctvnews.ca/

SUDBURY — Two new, 450-foot stacks are now fully installed and ready to replace the famous Superstack that has been in Sudbury for decades.

The $450 million project began in 2014, and managers with Vale say it was a companion effort to the Clean Atmospheric Emissions Reduction Project (AER).

“That Clean AER project was run in parallel to the service facilities upgrade,” said Darryl Cooke, Vale surface project and studies senior manager. “That was a billion-dollar project for atmospheric emissions reduction.”

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BHP’s Road To Reduced Emissions Should Be Electric – by David Fickling (Bloomberg News – September 3, 2020)

https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/

(Bloomberg Opinion) — As oil companies flesh out plans to cut carbon emissions, their peers in the mining sector risk being left behind.

BHP Group, Rio Tinto Group and Vale SA are already among the world’s largest emitters, thanks to the vast amounts of carbon spewed out turning their key product of iron ore into steel. Among producers with listings on major developed exchanges, only Royal Dutch Shell Plc sits higher than the big three miners in terms of so-called Scope 3 emissions.

(This describes pollution generated when a company’s products are used, such as when gasoline is burned in a car or steel is produced in a mill. It comprises the vast majority of total emissions in the resources sector.(1))

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Bill Gates-Led Fund Invests in Making Lithium Mining More Sustainable – by Akshat Rathi and Anne VanderMey (Bloomberg/Financial Post – February 20, 2020)

https://business.financialpost.com/

(Bloomberg) — Breakthrough Energy Ventures, helmed by Bill Gates, and MIT’s The Engine fund are leading an investment round of $20 million for Lilac Solutions, a U.S. startup aimed at making the extraction of lithium less water-intensive and more sustainable.

As the world looks to cut carbon emissions, people are increasingly turning to lithium-ion batteries for solutions such as powering electric vehicles or storing renewable energy. While there’s enough lithium available to meet today’s demand, BloombergNEF expects the market could see a shortfall as soon as 2023 as demand for the metal grows fourfold over the next decade.

About 75% of the world’s lithium is trapped in underground deposits of briny water that contain a mixture of salts. The typical way to recover lithium is to pump the water to the surface into miles-long salt ponds and let the water evaporate. What remains is then treated with chemicals, processed, washed, and filtered to leave behind the lithium.

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OPINION: From sulphur to solar: A big idea for Sudbury’s Superstack – by Jason McLennan (Northern Ontario Business – January 24, 2020)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

Sudbury’s story is inextricably linked to our Superstack. The story is not just environmental degradation. It is also inextricably connected to the planting of millions of trees, the extraordinary recovery of our lakes, the enriching of our depleted soils, and the return of biodiversity.

Growing up in Sudbury meant being associated with the Superstack, which I thought was a ‘cloud-making machine’ when I was really young. I didn’t understand the environmental legacy. What I knew at a young age was that we were here because of nickel.

This symbol of our city and Canada’s second tallest structure represents massive possibility. Once gone, a big piece of the city’s identity and story will be lost, along with the opportunity to remake this emblem of Sudbury’s environmentally dark past into one of a regenerative future.

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Lake trout’s return reflects success of Sudbury’s regreening efforts – by Mary Katherine Keown (Sudbury Star – January 23, 2020)

https://www.thesudburystar.com/

‘Sudbury is an example to the world of what can be done’

All herald the mighty lake trout. This cold-water, oxygen-loving fish is a sign that Sudbury’s regreening efforts have really taken root.

“We’re trying to educate people about local species and local biodiversity in ecosystems,” Tina McCaffrey, supervisor of the city’s regreening program, says. “For myself and my parents, growing up 40 years ago, we know the landscape was black and lifeless. But children today – they miss out on that. They don’t always know what we’re talking about when we say Sudbury used to be like a moonscape.”

Sudbury’s regreening efforts are impressive. There is a hill in the Little Britain area where you can climb and look out over the slag pours of Vale in one direction, and the expanse of leafy neighbourhoods and verdant woods in the other. Sudbury no longer resembles the moonscapes of past decades. Certainly, our rocks are still black, but now they are covered in mosses, lichens, trees and shrubs that speak to the pioneering efforts of the VETAC committee.

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As MacLean Engineering’s electric mining vehicles start to be deployed in real-world applications, work at the company’s Sudbury test site is helping to forge the next phase in mining’s transformation – by Devin Arthur (Electric Autonomy – January 21, 2020)

https://electricautonomy.ca/

Last November, I visited a test site run by one of the world’s leading manufacturers of zero-emissions mining technology. MacLean Engineering’s Sudbury, Ontario facility is being used to test battery-powered electric mining vehicles, which the Canadian company has been working to develop since 2015.

The impressive site consists of a 300-metre long underground ramp and an excavated cavern, in which enormous electric vehicles are tested for levels of energy use and heat generation.

A deep history

Nickel and copper mining has been ongoing in Sudbury for over 100 years, so at this point many of its mines are quite deep. Typically, ventilation requirements for mines of a certain depth are significant.

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Metals sector in costly battle to turn green – by Eric Onstad and Zandi Shabalala (Reuters U.S. – October 25, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

LONDON (Reuters) – Metals producers, from miners to smelters, are grappling with increasingly tough and costly environmental demands imposed by banks seeking cleaner investments.

While the transition may prove overwhelming for smaller producers, larger companies are playing a long game, casting ahead to a period where greener technology helps slash their costs.

Sustainability has been a long-standing issue in metals, covering a wide range of issues including corruption, board structure, jobs, communities around mines and mine waste.

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Chile’s Codelco ditches ‘green copper’ push, eyes wider mine clean-up in two years – by Fabian Cambero (Reuters U.S. – October 17, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

SANTIAGO (Reuters) – In 2017, the world’s largest copper producer – Chile’s Codelco – announced a plan to sell “green copper” at a premium price to customers using more sustainable practices like renewable energy and recycled water to cut its carbon footprint.

The project has run aground however, Codelco insiders and an executive said, as the miner realized it would struggle to guarantee its copper’s sustainability once it left the mine to be melted down and taken to market. Without that, traders said, higher prices were unjustifiable.

Now, the world’s largest miner of the prized red metal told Reuters it would drop the “green copper” plan piloted in one of its smaller mines in favor of a broader initiative to make its product more sustainable.

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Rio Tinto to join World Bank’s green mining program (Reuters U.S. – April 9, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

SANTIAGO (Reuters) – Rio Tinto said on Tuesday it will join a World Bank initiative intended to help developing countries sustainably mine lithium, cobalt and other minerals critical to the global electrification trend.

Rio’s participation in the program, known as Climate-Smart Mining and set to launch in May, comes as miners face increasing pressure from investors and non-governmental organizations to make supply chains more sustainable while reducing climate impact.

The program “will innovate and deploy financing specifically designed to manage the clean energy transition – responsibly, pragmatically and sustainably,” Arnaud Soirat, Rio’s head of copper and diamonds, said in a Tuesday speech at CRU’s World Copper Conference in Santiago.

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In Sudbury, Ottawa challenges mining innovators – by Staff (Sudbury Star – October 31, 2018)

https://www.thesudburystar.com/

Clean-tech mining solutions to share $10M

Researchers and innovators in the mining field now have an extra incentive to develop cleaner, greener ways to crush rock.

Amarjeet Sohi, the federal natural resources minister, was in Sudbury Tuesday to tout a new Crush It! Challenge, which will divide $10 million among a half-dozen entrants who create the best energy-saving technologies. The winner will pocket $5 million.

The challenge is open to companies, non-profits, industry associations, First Nations groups, schools and small-scale innovators.

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