Regreening Sudbury: VETAC at 50 – work still to be done – by Hugh Kruzel (Sudbury Star – October 25, 2023)

‘I am really quite amazed by what has happened when you spread some limestone’

Growing up in Sudbury many of us — as teens — roamed across a countryside made barren, blackened and rocky due to years of mining and smelting operations. The more recent generations, however, would have to go looking for examples that remain of that time.Revegetation programs have residents and visitors once again seeing a rolling verdant landscape.

“I am really quite amazed by what has happened when you spread some limestone,” said Peter Beckett, Laurentian University professor emeritus of reclamation, restoration and wetland ecology, and chair of the VETAC regreening advisory panel. “Like magic. Who would have thought?”

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Regreening an example of what gives Jane Goodall hope – by Hugh kruzel (Sudbury Star – June 1, 2023)

‘Yelling at CEOs doesn’t work. Instead plant a seed,’ says famous activist, on hand to promote new doc at Science North

All seats were filled at Science North’s IMAX cinema as Jane Goodall arrived to share her new film Reasons for Hope. The legendary primatologist, now 88, has put Sudbury prominently on the world stage. The city’s regreening effort is one of the inspiring tales told in the documentary — a success story she wants to share with a wider audience.

Drone footage in the film goes from black, industrially damaged landscapes to carpets of forests. Healthy lakes, echoing with the call of loons, are seen from the perspective of a canoe.

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How abandoned mines can become clean energy storage systems – Staff ( – January 17, 2023)

An international team of researchers has developed a novel way to store energy by transporting sand into abandoned underground mines. The new technique, called Underground Gravity Energy Storage (UGES), proposes an effective long-term energy storage solution while also making use of now-defunct mining sites.

In a paper published in the journal Energies, the scientists explain that UGES generates electricity when the price is high by lowering sand into an underground mine and converting the potential energy of the sand into electricity via regenerative braking and then lifting the sand from the mine to an upper reservoir using electric motors to store energy when electricity is cheap.

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The race to mine mining waste – by John Lorinc (Corporate Knights – January 9, 2023)

Could metal-eating bacteria that break down mining waste be key to sustainable battery minerals?

For generations, the topography of Sudbury, Ontario, has been brutally defined by towering slag heaps and vast orange-hued tailings ponds – the physical legacy of almost 140 years of nickel mining and smelting by resource giants like Inco and Falconbridge.

By 1910, in fact, Sudbury’s mines were supplying 80% of the world’s nickel. But by the late 20th century, the industrial fallout – corrosive air pollution, acid rain and a legacy of seemingly intractable contamination – revealed the extraordinary environmental cost of those resource riches.

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Investors look for green ways to cash in on battery metals boom – by Kenza Bryan and Harry Dempsey (Financial Post/Financial Times – January 9, 2023)

Tainted by decades of environmental disasters, shattered communities and ravenous water consumption, mining companies — including those that dig up battery metals — are not traditional darlings of the environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) crowd.

Veteran mining executive Sir Mick Davis — who led the resources company Xstrata PLC until its merger with Glencore PLC in 2013 — knows this all too well. Now running Vision Blue Resources Ltd., a fund focused on clean-energy-related mineral and metal companies, he’s looking to ride a new wave in the sector as it seeks to up its game on sustainability while meeting huge demand for battery metals.

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Demand for green metals from recycling expected to grow – report – by Valentina Ruiz Leotaud ( – May 29, 2022)

As the ESG spotlight shifts onto the mining and metals sector, there is increased interest in recycling as a source of green metals, a recent report by White & Case states.

According to the law firm, the ideas around the circular economy, where all aspects of the economy are repurposed and/or reused, align well with recycling, while relatively high commodity prices also make the often resource-intensive process of sorting and processing scrap more economically viable.

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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.

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Sudbury Accent: LU researcher tackles ‘the next frontier’ of Sudbury’s regreening program – by Colleen Romaniuk (Sudbury Star – October 22, 2021)

A researcher at Laurentian University’s Living with Lakes Centre is planting the seeds for a more sustainable and environmentally friendly land reclamation process.

Jonathan Lavigne has partnered with Collège Boréal to explore the potential for pulp and paper mill waste and municipal biosolids as an alternative to the lime and fertilizer method of treating soils damaged by years of acid rain deposition.

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How metals and mining companies are adapting to a greener world – by Nathaniel Bullard (Bloomberg News – October 21, 2021)

The metals and mining sector is a massive resource producer and a massive resource consumer. It exhumes raw materials and transforms them, through energy-intensive processes, into the modern features of our built environment.

In so doing, it also creates about a quarter of the reported emissions of the world’s 12,000 largest companies. As with other hard-to-abate sectors like cement production, or marine shipping, significantly lowering the emissions profiles of metals and mining will be crucial to meaningfully decarbonizing the global economy.

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

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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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