Archive | Green Mining

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 →

Canada / U.S. big players announce world’s first carbon-free aluminum smelting process – by Valentina Ruiz Leotaud (Mining.com – May 10, 2018)

http://www.mining.com/

In an official event that included Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, Québec’s Premier, Philippe Couillard, and Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, Alcoa (NYSE: AA) and Rio Tinto (ASX, LON:RIO) announced the launching of Elysis, a joint venture company whose goal is to push towards commercial production a newly discovered, carbon-free aluminum smelting process.

At the event, executives from the companies involved explained that the innovative aluminum-making method produces oxygen and eliminates all direct greenhouse gas emissions from the traditional smelting process.

As an example, they said that, if fully implemented at existing aluminum smelters, the technology could eliminate the equivalent of 6.5 million metric tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions in Canada. This represents an amount roughly equal to taking nearly 1.8 million light-duty vehicles off the road. Continue Reading →

NEWS RELEASE: VALE’S SUDBURY OPERATIONS HONOURED WITH NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL EXCELLENCE AWARD

SUDBURY, May 8, 2018 – Vale’s Sudbury Biodiversity Program received the national Towards Sustainable Mining (TSM) Environmental Excellence Award from the Mining Association of Canada (MAC) at an awards gala during the 2018 CIM Convention in Vancouver on May 7th.

“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 →

‘Still got lots to do’ in Sudbury’s regreening program, ecologist says (CBC News Sudbury – May 7, 2018)

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

A program that started in Sudbury in 1978 is still being recognized on the international level. Forty years ago, the City of Greater Sudbury launched the regreening program, which has transformed the city from desolate black rocks to green trees.

In 2018, CBC Sudbury is celebrating its 40th anniversary of going on air. We’ll be looking back at some of our top stories from the last four decades. Peter Beckett, a restoration ecologist and chair of the regreening advisory panel, was no stranger to industrial areas when he first arrived in Sudbury in 1974. He came from England to visit the city.

“I actually thought I’d gone back to some of the barren areas of South Wales,” he said. “There were no trees. There was a rocky hillside with large pebbles.” He relocated to Sudbury and remembers the year the program was put into place. Continue Reading →

Sudbury celebrates 40 years of regreening: Environmental reclamation effort hits memorable milestone – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – May 1, 2018)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

Greater Sudbury’s internationally acclaimed environmental regreening effort to heal its industrially-scarred landscape has hit the 40-year mark.

The program, launched in 1978, put the city on the map as an environmental leader in miraculously transforming the area from a mostly tree-less moonscape to a lush landscape.

In that four-decade span, more than 3,400 hectares of barren land has been treated with crushed agricultural limestone and almost 10 million seedlings have been replanted by the city’s Regreening Program. Continue Reading →

Green future for gold company: Barrick Gold exec touts “digital transformation” of mining corporation at CIM Sudbury meeting – by Karen McKinley (Northern Ontario Business – April 24, 2018)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

Barrick Gold isn’t alone in their plans to make their mining operations more automated and ecological. The plans to go green are not a secret, but Denis Gratton, vice-president of automation, spoke at the April 19 meeting of the Sudbury chapter of the Canadian Institute of Mining to elaborate on the company’s strategy.

Their plans include everything from chemical leaching to autonomous vehicles and artificial intelligence in a ground-up approach to change how the company does business.

For starters, Gratton said the company had to look at innovation as a whole, rather than merely changing a few machines or methods of working. To do that, the company established its own innovation team to work on projects in house and explore third-party partnerships. Continue Reading →

Mining can be green and “sustainable” – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – August 15, 2017)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

Miners, First Nations feed fodder to government policy wonks

Government needs to help encourage greater Indigenous participation in the mining sector if it wants to make progress on national reconciliation and to “unlock billions of economic activity” across the country. The Canadian Mineral Industry Federation (CMIF) submitted an Aug; 14 policy paper at the Energy and Mines Ministers conference in Saint Andrews, N.B.

CMIF is a coalition of mining interests, led by the Mining Association of Canada and the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada, who believe Canada can be a top supplier of sustainably-sourced minerals and metals operating within a low-carbon regime.

Since the mining industry is the largest private sector employer of Indigenous people, CMIF said government needs to invest in Indigenous health, education, skills training, and make progress on resource revenue sharing. CMIF suggests government use industry “as a platform” toward national reconciliation. Continue Reading →

Terra CO2: The Canadian start-up to neutralise mine acid waste – by Elly EArls (Mining-Technology.com – January 16, 2017)

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

A first-of-a-kind system developed in Canada could tackle two of the mining industry’s biggest environmental problems simultaneously. Elly Earls meets Dylan Jones, CEO of Terra CO2 Technologies to find out more about this carbon dioxide-busting acid rock drainage solution.

Acid rock drainage is responsible for huge financial and environmental costs for miners but a Canada-based company may have found an innovative way to tackle the problem, while simultaneously slashing operations’ carbon footprints.

Both acid rock drainage (ARD) and the CO2 emissions associated with running fossil fuel-burning electricity generators are big issues for remote mines. While the emissions contribute to the global march of climate change, ARD – or the outflow of acidic water from metal and coal mines – can harm water systems, wetlands and other environments and habitats. Continue Reading →