Archive | Mining Environmental, Water Shortage and Land Reclamation/Revegetation Issues

Cobalt mining conference taking shape – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – August 10, 2018)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

Land rehabilitation, mining legacy and cobalt exploration are featured topics at September event

There’s definitely a dual meaning that applies to the inaugural Green Mining Conference being held in the Town of Cobalt this September.

For decades, the northeastern Ontario community of 1,100 endured the environmental legacy issues left behind by the town’s famed Silver Rush at the turn of the last century; something Agnico Eagle Mines has spent considerable time and money on to clean up old mine workings.

At the same time, Cobalt is back on the world stage as an exploration hotspot for its namesake metal that’s powering the expanding electric vehicle battery market. Continue Reading →

Glacier-Protection Bill Dropped in Chile and Miners Applaud – by Laura Millan Lombrana (Bloomberg News – June 28, 2018)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

Chile’s mining industry is cheering a decision to drop a glacier-protection bill, saying the proposed rules were conceived to thwart mineral extraction. One academic says the move imperils glacial networks.

Environmental Minister Marcela Cubillos requested the withdrawal of the bill from the lower house last week, nullifying former President Michelle Bachelet’s push for special protections that included banning certain activities on and around glaciers.

The slow moving masses of ice high in the Andes Mountains will now come under more general protections for environmentally sensitive areas, newspaper La Tercera cited Cubillos as saying. Continue Reading →

NEWS RELEASE: Terrapure’s Terratec division awarded for innovative mine reclamation program with Vale Canada

Canada’s leading environmental service provider solves a municipal problem and a mining problem with one, sustainable, cost-saving approach.

BURLINGTON, ONT., June 25, 2018 – Terratec Environmental, a division of leading environmental solutions provider Terrapure, has established a new, sustainable option for managing biosolids during winter months, when farmland application is prohibited and storage is complicated.

Instead of disposing of a nutrient-rich resource through incineration or landfill, Terratec developed a program to apply biosolids to mine-impacted land for reclamation and revegetation. Acknowledging this significant contribution to the field, the Water Environment Association of Ontario (WEAO) presented Terrapure and Vale with the 2018 Exemplary Biosolids Management Award.

“The program is the first of its kind in Ontario, so we’re excited to see that it’s gaining momentum; the mining industry is now identifying biosolids as a key strategy in mine closure scenarios,” said Jeff Newman, Director of Business Development at Terratec. “This approach is a real win-win. Municipalities get an off-season biosolids management alternative, and mining companies get an effective tailings cover system.” 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 →

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 →

Accent: Vale Enhancing Sudbury’s biodiversity – by Keith Dempsey (Sudbury Star – March 24, 2018)

http://www.thesudburystar.com/

Thousands of fingerlings, about an inch in size, entered two 4,500-litre rearing-like tanks at Vale’s Copper Cliff Greenhouse almost a year ago.

It’s where they were joyfully raised for 10 months by Vale staff, fed pelletized food, carefully having the water parameters in their tank monitored to make sure the water is being filtered.

“We want to make sure they’re happy in there,” said Quentin Smith, environmental engineer with Vale. Those fingerlings have now matured into healthy brook trout. Some of them have grown to 10-inches long. They’re ready for release into their natural environment. Continue Reading →

Anglo Says Cleaning Up Mining Will Earn It Billions in Profit – by Thomas Biesheuvel (Bloomberg News – March 13, 2018)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

Mining is a dirty business, but Anglo American Plc Chief Executive Officer Mark Cutifani says it doesn’t have to be. The miner of everything from copper to diamonds to iron ore is overhauling its sustainability targets, and predicts it can earn an extra $9 billion through 2030 by improving the way it mines and boosting relations with governments and communities.

In an industry that rips up massive areas of pristine landscape while consuming valuable water and pumping out dust and pollution, companies that don’t become better corporate citizens will face higher costs, mounting opposition and lose out on new deposits, Cutifani said in an interview.

“We need access to resources,” he said. “If you don’t have good relationships you don’t get access to ground; if you don’t have access to ground you can’t develop a mine.” Continue Reading →

British Columbia to reform Environmental Assessment Process in the fall – by Valentina Ruiz Leotaud (Mining.com – March 7, 2018)

http://www.mining.com/

The government of British Columbia revealed today the timeline that will guide the procedures to reform the province’s environmental assessment process.

Known by its initials, the EAP is a course of action to predict environmental effects of proposed initiatives, particularly mining and resource extraction projects, before they are carried out.

In general, an EAP should identify potential adverse environmental effects; propose measures to mitigate adverse environmental impacts; predict whether there will be significant adverse environmental effects after mitigation measures are implemented; and include a follow-up program to verify the accuracy of the environmental assessment and the effectiveness of the mitigation measures. Continue Reading →

Clear and clean: Monitor, share, innovate, reduce and repeat. This is the new water cycle for mines. – by Kylie Williams (CIM Magazine – February 26, 2018)

http://magazine.cim.org/

Access to water is a growing global humanitarian and environmental challenge. In the latest World Economic Forum Global Risks Report, water crises ranked fifth in terms of global impact. Competing demands for water will result in food crises, large-scale involuntary migration and environmental degradation.

According to the World Bank, 70 per cent of fresh water worldwide is used for agriculture and this sector will need to grow by 50 per cent to feed the expected 10 billion people on earth by 2050.

“The reality is that we all have to learn to live in a resource-constrained world,” said Resa Furey, market analyst at global design and engineering firm Stantec. “Water is life and a finite resource, so limited supplies of fresh water are putting the squeeze on everyone – mining, agriculture and society.” Continue Reading →

Protect the Amazon from big business and greed, Pope Francis urges – by Philip Pullella and Mitra Taj (Reuters U.S. – January 19, 2018)

https://www.reuters.com/

PUERTO MALDONADO, Peru (Reuters) – Pope Francis issued a ringing defense of the people and the environment of the Amazon on Friday, saying big business and “consumerist greed” could not be allowed to destroy a natural habitat vital for the entire planet.

Francis, who has made the environment and climate change a focus of his nearly five-year-old pontificate, made his appeal while visiting a corner of the Amazon in Peru where pristine rainforest and biodiversity is being blighted by mining and logging, much of it illegal.

“The native Amazonian peoples have probably never been so threatened on their own lands as they are at present,” the pope told a crowd of indigenous people from more than 20 groups including the Harakbut, Esse-ejas, Shipibos, Ashaninkas and Juni Kuin. Continue Reading →

Copper miners challenged by water supply – by Valentina Ruiz Leotaud (Mining.com – January 18, 2018)

http://www.mining.com/

Wood Mackenzie sees copper demand increasing significatively over global supply in the next decade and, together with it, miners’ need for reliable sources of water.

“As constant and high demand for copper leads to resources running out, copper grades will progressively diminish. As a result, water demand will increase because it will be necessary to process more material to obtain the same amount of copper,” the consultancy group wrote in a report made public this week.

Aware of this, some miners with projects in Chile are already taking steps to guarantee the continuity of their operations. In the document titled The awakening of a dormant challenge: water management in the copper-mining industry, Wood Mackenzie says that companies in the world’s top copper producer are starting to minimise their use of underground and surface water, and are gradually increasing their use of seawater and recirculated water. Continue Reading →

Copper growth could be hampered by water resources (Mining Journal – January 2018)

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

Falling grades and increased costs are often cited as reasons why there is not enough copper coming through the project pipeline, but water – or a lack of it – is another constraint holding back the industry’s growth, according to analysts from Wood Mackenzie.

The water issue is not as simple as being able to locate a captive source to start a development, it is much more complicated.

“From supply origin (surface, ground, sea or third-party water), management (recirculation and efficiency) to discharge (treatment and final discharge), there are political, environmental, economic and social repercussions,” the analysts said.

All of these have led to investors asking mining companies how they plan to manage water resources when evaluating potential investment projects. Continue Reading →

Can Markets Save the West’s Most Controversial Bird? – by Daniel Rothberg (Bloomberg News – November 30, 2017)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

Agee Smith’s Cottonwood Ranch is tucked away in rural Nevada, about 450 miles from Las Vegas and not far from the Idaho border. The area is prime habitat for the greater sage grouse, an imperiled bird found in 11 western states. The male grouse is known for his eccentric mating dance—involving strutting, chest puffing and the inflation of two yellow air sacs on his neck.

Over the past two years, Smith worked to improve areas that are crucial habitats for sage grouse. He has planted sagebrush and improved the grass density in his meadows. If a new conservation method works as planned, Smith could make some money off his work.

Nevada, along with Colorado and Wyoming, has been working to create statewide markets for the conservation of the bird. In the simplest terms, these markets let developers—mining and energy companies, mainly—offset their impact on sage grouse by purchasing “credits” from ranchers who conserve an equal amount of habitat. Continue Reading →

Amazon rainforest deforestation: ‘Almost 10 per cent’ due to development around mines – by Nick Kilvert (Australian Broadcasting Corporation – October 18, 2017)

http://www.abc.net.au/

Almost 10 per cent of clearing in the Brazilian Amazon rainforest is being driven by unregulated development around mine sites, a new study has found. Researchers analysed satellite data from 2005 to 2015, contrasting areas within a 70-kilometre radius of mine sites, with areas not proximal to mines.

In the study published today in Nature Communications, they found that an extra 11,670 square-kilometres of Amazon rainforest had been cleared where mines were within that radius.

“This is an unregulated source of deforestation, we didn’t know it existed and we assumed it was much smaller than what our results have shown,” said lead author Dr Laura Sonter of the University of Vermont’s Gund Institute. Continue Reading →