Archive | Green Mining

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. Continue Reading →

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. Continue Reading →

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. Continue Reading →

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. Continue Reading →

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. Continue Reading →

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. Continue Reading →

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. Continue Reading →

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. Continue Reading →

Mining and the environment: the biggest conservation projects in mining – by JP Casey (Mining-Technology.com – October 29, 2018)

https://www.mining-technology.com/

As the mining industry becomes more aware of the environmental damage large-scale extractive operations can cause, many are taking steps to reduce the harmfulness of their operations.

Often, this takes the form of extensive land rehabilitation projects, where companies set out long-term plans to redevelop land after a mine has been exhausted; however, many companies have adopted a more specific approach, engaging in operations to protect individual species of wildlife native to the lands where they mine. Here are five of the biggest conservation projects in mining.

Appalachian Wildlife Center, Kentucky, US

In July this year, biologist David Ledford announced the formation of the Appalachian Wildlife Center, a non-profit organisation that aims to construct a conservation area on former mining land in the US state of Kentucky. The area will cover 12,500 acres, a third of which will consist of plains and grassland built on former mine sites. Continue Reading →

Feds kick in $5M for ‘innovative’ all-electric Borden Mine – by Len Gillis (Timmins Daily Press – October 29, 2018)

https://www.timminspress.com/

With Goldcorp betting hundreds of millions of dollars on the future of its new Borden Lake gold mine project near Chapleau, the federal government has chipped in with $5 million to show its faith in the project and others like it.

CHAPLEAU – With Goldcorp betting hundreds of millions of dollars on the future of its new Borden Lake gold mine project near Chapleau, the federal government has chipped in with $5 million to show its faith in the project and others like it.

Federal Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi toured the new mine facility on Monday with Goldcorp officials and technical representatives of the mining equipment manufacturers who are working to make it the first all-electric underground mine in Canada, which is considered a major environmental improvement for the mining industry. Continue Reading →

NEWS RELEASE: BC Mine Reclamation Award and Scholarship Recipients Announced

Williams Lake, B.C., Canada – September 24, 2018 – The British Columbia Technical and Research Committee on Reclamation (TRCR) presented the 2017 BC Mine Reclamation Award at its 41st Annual BC Mine Reclamation Symposium in Williams Lake last Wednesday.

The Jake McDonald Annual Mine Reclamation Award was presented to Teck Highland Valley Copper Partnership for its use of tailings ponds and pit lakes at its mine near the town of Logan Lake, B.C. for aquatic habitat and as passive water treatment facilities.

“The resulting progressive reclamation of the Bethlehem, Trojan, and Highmont tailings ponds, and the Huestis, Iona, and Jersey pit lakes that has occurred over 20 years demonstrates that Highland Valley Copper is a global leader in this area of mine reclamation science,” noted Jennifer McConnachie, Chair of the TRCR Awards Subcommittee. Continue Reading →

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 →