Changes that need to be made in the Canadian mining industry to protect the environment
The mining industry may be quite large in Canada, but it has recently come under fire for harming the surrounding environment. And while the industry may help to promote work and an overall better economy, are there ways to help ensure that damage and waste are avoided?
Specifically, First Nations and community organizations from both Canada and Alaska are asking the Canadian Energy and Mines ministers to act immediately—they’re asking for these groups to prevent any further type of damage that has already been caused from the hundreds of mine waste dams and impoundments.
In a recent letter addressed to the groups mentioned above, particular changes are needed following the failure of the Mount Polley tailings site in British Columbia. But what are these changes and can they be incorporated into daily plans?
First off, ministers are being asked to “recognize that there are certain places where the downstream values are too great to expose to the risks associated with the disposal of tailings sites.”
Furthermore, mining ventures taking place along transboundary rivers that flow into Southeast Alaska have led to environmentalists and fishery entities being greatly concerned about the potential negative impact of mine wastes on salmon habitat, which is critical to the overall economy and lifestyles of the surrounding residents.
It would appear that change is possible and could happen, because also addressed in the letter are methods to possibly fixing the issues. These ideas include the creation of independent tailings review boards, as well as an International Joint Commission review for transboundary mines that are located on the Canada-U.S. border that actually present a risk to either country’s waters.
Furthermore, the letter went on to suggest that one of the mining dams failed due to faulty design. Therefore, design issues have been called into play, with a request for more in-depth pre-work to take place.
The technology used has also been called into question, with unsafe operational practices needing to be fixed, such as changing the way water is stores, as well as the overall regulation and operation of mining waste facilities.
But the real question is whether or not these changes will promote safety and an overall better environment for residents in the area. What are your thoughts and/or suggestions?
[SOURCE: The Cordova Times]
Vale invests $150mn to extend life of Manitoba operations
Vale has announced a $150mn CAD investment to extend current mining activities in Thompson, Manitoba by 10 years while aggressive exploration drilling of known orebodies holds the promise of mining well past 2040.
Global energy transition is boosting the market for nickel
The Thompson Mine Expansion is a two-phase project. The announcement represents Phase 1 and includes critical infrastructure such as new ventilation raises and fans, increased backfill capacity and additional power distribution. The changes are forecast to improve current production by 30%.
“This is the largest single investment we have made in our Thompson operations in the past two decades,” said Mark Travers, Executive Vice-President for Base Metals with Vale. “It is significant news for our employees, for the Thompson community and for the Province of Manitoba.
“The global movement to electric vehicles, renewable energies and carbon reduction has shone a welcome spotlight on nickel – positioning the metal we mine as a key contributor to a greener future and boosting world demand. We are proud that Thompson can be part of that future and part of the low carbon solution.”
Vale continues drilling program at Manitoba
Coupled with today’s announcement, Vale is continuing an extensive drilling program to further define known orebodies and search for new mineralization.
“This $150mn investment is just one part of our ambitious Thompson turnaround story. It is an indicator of our confidence in a long future for the Thompson operations,” added Dino Otranto, Chief Operating Officer for Vale’s North Atlantic Base Metals operations.
“Active collaboration between our design team, technical services, USW Local 6166, and our entire Thompson workforce has delivered a safe, efficient and fit-for-purpose plan that will enable us to extract the Thompson nickel resources for many years to come.”
The Thompson orebody was first discovered in 1956 by Vale (then known as Inco) following the adoption of new exploration technology and the largest exploration program to-date in the company’s history. Mining of the Thompson orebody began in 1961.
“We see the lighting of a path forward to a sustainable and prosperous future for Vale Base Metals in Manitoba,” said Gary Annett, General Manager of Vale’s Manitoba Operations.