Archive | Green Mining

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)

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)

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 ( – January 16, 2017)

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 →

Exclusive: Chile copper firms try to rejig contracts to tap renewable energy – by Gram Slattery (Reuters U.S. – December 7, 2016)

SANTIAGO – Mining companies in Chile, by far the world’s largest copper producer, are examining their energy contracts to see if they can renegotiate terms to incorporate now-cheaper renewable power, company sources say.

The mines, long reliant on coal and gas to power everything from milling to drilling, are also inviting a broad range of wind and solar producers to major energy tenders for the first time.

The shift away from dirty energy in some ways reflects the unique situation of Chile, which has virtually no local gas or coal reserves, but a long, arid coastline amenable to wind and solar power. Continue Reading →

Miners go green in hunt for cost efficiencies, using renewable energy sources in far-flung locations – by Sunny Freeman (Financial Post – November 29, 2016)

Mining companies are digging into renewable energy as a way to reduce costs and offset the impact of volatile conventional fuel prices as the world shifts to a low-carbon economy.

Industry executives gathered last week at the Energy and Mines World Congress in Toronto focused on how innovation in energy – which can comprise as much as one-quarter of operating expenses in remote locations – can make mines more cost-effective and environmentally sustainable. “I think we will be surprised at the speed at which mining companies will start to adopt these things,” said Adriaan Davidse, mining innovation leader at Deloitte.

Amid rapid improvements in renewable technologies, wind and solar prices have fallen dramatically in recent years and are expected to keep dropping. In many parts of the world —especially in remote locations – the alternative energy solutions are becoming cheaper than conventional sources. Continue Reading →

Barrick sees ‘perfect storm’ brewing around cost-effective renewables ( – September 20, 2016)

VANCOUVER – Renewable-energy sources have reached the stage where they can reduce energy costs as well as emissions, Barrick Gold’s senior manager of energy and greenhouse gases (GHGs), Russell Blades, tells Energy and Mines.

“We are seeing a ‘perfect storm’ brewing around renewables. Solar and energy storage are improving in efficiencies and reducing in costs. Renewables are already cost-effective in many areas compared to traditional fossil fuel power options,” Blades says, adding that, in terms of further reducing Barrick Gold’s energy costs and emissions, the company sees renewables as having an important role to play alongside its energy management and fuel switching initiatives.

Moreover, with governments, investors and stakeholders more focused on carbon emissions, pricing and climate change, mines are moving more towards electrification and automation. “Barrick recognises this global trend and is trying to get ahead of the curve to be a market leader to benefit our shareholders and other stakeholders,” Blades notes. Continue Reading →

‘We’re already doing it’: Quebec company touts wind power in Canada’s Arctic – by Sima Sahar Zerehi (CBC News North – September 20, 2016)

‘Renewable energy is available today and can be installed in the Arctic,’ says Quebec’s Tugliq Energy

A company that has designed a wind turbine in Nunavik, in northern Quebec, says the same technology would work in Nunavut and other remote areas of the Arctic. ugliq Energy says its wind turbine has cut costs at Glencore’s Raglan Mine, lowered the mine’s use of diesel, and minimized its carbon footprint. Tugliq now wants to bring the same technology to mine sites in Nunavut, such as TMAC’s Hope Bay mine, and communities across the North.

“We’re already doing it — renewable energy is available today and can be installed in the Arctic,” said Laurent Abbatiello, CEO of the Quebec-based Tugliq Energy. “It is feasible technically and there’s also strong business cases in many occurrences where it’s going to be profitable.”

Raglan Mine is a large nickel mining complex in the Nunavik region of northern Quebec, approximately 100 kilometres south of Deception Bay. Continue Reading →

Hearst, Constance Lake plan joint mining readiness strategy – by Lindsay Kelly (Northern Ontario Business – September 1, 2016)

The Town of Hearst and Constance Lake First Nation are collaborating on a unique partnership that could see the two communities benefit from mining in the region.

In March, the two communities embarked on the joint development of a mining readiness strategy, which is designed to boost economic development and growth in the region and improve local skills and service delivery geared toward attracting mining companies and investment.

Sylvie Fontaine, general manager of the Hearst Economic Development Corporation, said the idea was modelled on a similar development in the North where communities began preparing for potential mining activity from the Ring of Fire. “In our case, it’s not the Ring of Fire, but it’s any mining activity that might start in the near future,” Fontaine said. Continue Reading →

[Barrick/Kinross] Mine makes way for wildlife – by Adella Harding (Elko Daily Free Press – August 26, 2016)

Bald Mountain Mine south of the Ruby Mountains has started expansion work now that the U.S. Bureau of Land Management has approved an alternate plan that mitigates concerns about mule deer migration, including a major cut in the acreage that can be disturbed.

The plan also eases concerns about sage grouse habitat, wild horses and views from the Ruby Lake National Wildlife Refuge. “Water also was one of those considerations,” said Jill Moore, Bristlecone Field Office manager for the Ely BLM district.

The chosen alternative will disturb 3,097 acres, compared with the original proposal for an expansion that would disturb 7,097 acres. “That’s a 56 percent reduction in proposed disturbance,” said Stephanie Trujillo, assistant field manager for the Ely BLM District’s Bristlecone Field Office. “A lot of it is environmental impact reduction.” Continue Reading →

FISHY BUSINESS: An English mining company is keeping an entire species from extinction in Mexico – by Kata Karáth ( – July 19, 2016)

Conservationists go to great lengths to save a species from extinction, and in the case of a small Mexican fish, to great depths as well.

For the past 12 years, London Zoo has been breeding a rare fish with crucial help from a large commercial manufacturer. British Gypsum supplies the zoo with gypsum, a mineral it mines in Brightling, southeast England. Gypsum is normally used as a fertilizer and in building products, but in this case it’s the only way of keep the mineral balance of the water just right for the peculiar needs of the checkered pupfish.

London Zoo runs conservation programs in more than 50 countries that are crucial to the survival of several thousand species, but the checkered pupfish has been particularly tricky. It only exists in one Mexican state, San Luis Potosí, and mostly in a single lake called Media Luna. Continue Reading →

AUDIO: Sudbury researcher John Gunn meets Sweden’s environmentally minded king – by Samantha Lui (CBC News Sudbury – July 13, 2016)

John Gunn shared the story of Sudbury’s regreening efforts with the king and other researchers

The regreening of Sudbury’s damaged landscapes is a story known across the world. In fact, it’s even caught the attention of Carl Gustaf, the king of Sweden. Sudbury’s John Gunn was recently invited to attend the king’s 12th Royal Colloquiam just outside of Stockholm.

The event’s been held since 1992 by Gustaf, and it invites leading scientists and researchers to take part in discussions about issues relating to environment and development. Gunn, who is the director of the Vale Living with Lakes Centre in the city, shared details about Sudbury’s progress over the years with the king and other researchers around the world.

“It was a great honour to participate in such a discussion group with the king of Sweden,” he said. “Sweden and the adjoining Norway are very supportive of international studies in the environment. I was pleased to be able to go and represent Sudbury and provide some information.” Continue Reading →

Timmins land reclamation hailed as model – by Alan S. Hale (Timmins Daily Press – June 30, 2016)

More than 100 delegates attending the Canadian Land Reclamation Association’s (CLRA) conference being held in Timmins this week, ventured out of the meeting rooms at the McIntyre Arena to learn about the reclamation projects undertaken by Goldcorp and Glencore near the city.

The attendees at this year’s CLRA conference came from a variety of backgrounds. There were people from mining companies, government ministries, environment remediation consultants and more than a few university students and other academics. They came from all over the province and even from far away as Japan to learn what the mining industry in Timmins has done to try and clean up the environment

The conference is dedicated to discussing all the latest and greatest developments in the world of trying to return former mining facilities and tailings ponds to their natural state – or at least as close to it as possible. Continue Reading →

Sudbury’s air quality continues to improve – by Ben Leeson (Sudbury Star – June 9, 2016)

Greater Sudburians should be breathing a little easier these days, based on the results of Clean Air Sudbury’s newest report.

Clearing in the Air, the third report by the local non-profit group on air quality trends in the city, was released on Wednesday. Based on data from the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change, the National Pollutant Release Inventory and the Greater Sudbury Sulphur Dioxide and Particulate Monitoring Networks operated by Vale and Glencore, the report showed that Greater Sudbury’s air quality continues to improve.

“This is a trend we have seen over a number of decades,” said Ray Potvin, a former air quality specialist for the province and private sector, who authored the report. “This report shows that trend is ongoing. These improvements are consistent with what we’ve seen across the province, in terms of air quality, during the past 10 years. This is a result of governments requiring stricter emission controls.” Continue Reading →

Southern Ontario sewage helps Sudbury nickel miner regreen its tailings (CBC News Sudbury – April 25, 2016)

Treated sewage is commonly used on farms in other parts of the province

As part of a green solution to mining pollution, truckloads of sewage are heading to nickel miner Vale’s tailings ponds in Sudbury, Ont. But unlike the stinky, untreated haul that once came from the city’s sewage treatment plants, this sewage comes from southern Ontario.

The black, manure-like biosolids are normally spread on farms in the south as fertilizer, but during the winter or other times it can’t be used for agriculture. Since 2014, the company has been mixing biolsolids with straw, hay and yard waste and using it to help re-green thousands of hectares of sandy, acidic mining waste.

“Tough place to be a tree,” says Vale’s superintendent of decommission and reclamation Glen Watson. “The biosolids ends up being an all-in-one solution for us, because the tailings themselves are very nutrient-poor and they’re metal rich. You can amend the surface of the tailings much like a farmer would.” Continue Reading →

The unknown cost of green mining – by Crae Garrett (The Lawyers Weekly – April 15 2016)

Caution needed until impact of new environmental assessment processes becomes clear

During the current global business cycle, the Canadian mining sector has been very much at the forefront of the market volatility and resultant uncertainty. More recently, an additional element of change on the socio-political front looks set to add to that uncertainty, at least in the short to medium term.

The Canadian federal government has indicated it intends to introduce new environmental assessment processes for major projects.

While the vast majority of public commentary and press coverage has centered around how this may affect two major pipeline projects currently under consideration, and while there is not much detail available regarding what form these new processes will take, it is worth remembering that the scope of the underlying regulatory regime already in place that will likely provide the legal structure for the assessment process (the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act) also extends to major mining projects. Continue Reading →