May 2014

CIM news from Canada and beyond

Compiled by Herb Mathisen

MAC to present inaugural awards at the 2014 CIM Convention

For the last decade, the Mining Association of Canada (MAC) has shone the spotlight on some of the country’s best mining operations as part of its Towards Sustainable Mining (TSM) initiative. This year, MAC will hand out two brand new awards to celebrate outstanding achievements in the areas of community engagement and environmental excellence. “We decided to create the awards to recognize and celebrate the good work that is taking place in the industry,” said Pierre Gratton , MAC president and CEO. “Many of our member companies are working hard to implement innovative projects and initiatives that raise the bar for the rest of the industry. We also want the awards to be an incentive for companies. We were really impressed by the quantity of nominations received this year as well as the quality of the initiatives.” Winners will be announced at this year’s CIM Convention on May 12.

Finalists for the TSM Community Engagement Award

Glencore Canada For its efforts to attract and advance Inuit talent at its Raglan mine in northern Quebec 

Building on previous initiatives, Glencore created a new program in 2013 called RIDE (Rapid Inuit Development and Employment) to encourage internal mobility for Inuit employees and to work with educational institutions to offer Inuit students scholarships and job opportunities.

Iamgold Corporation For kick-starting a successful village market gardening program in communities around its Essakane mine in Burkina Faso

Residents in the region rely heavily on livestock breeding and gold mining to make a living. To develop alternative revenue sources, while also improving food security and combating poverty in the desert-like region, Iamgold has worked with community groups since 2009 to initiate market gardening with great success.

Rio Tinto/Iron Ore Company of Canada For helping to manage growth in the Labrador City, Newfoundland region

When mining activity picks up, towns go through growing pains, with housing, infrastructure and social services shortages as typical symptoms. Since 2006, the Iron Ore Company of Canada has taken a proactive approach to resolving these issues by establishing a community advisory panel and regional task force that work towards ensuring appropriate housing, health and emergency services, community infrastructure, and training opportunities for residents in the region.

Vale For initiating economic development and diversification planning in Thompson, Manitoba

For more than 50 years, the city has been a regional service hub to northern Manitoba, but with Vale reducing its operations by 2015, the company is helping Thompson plan for its future. In 2011, Vale proactively funded and co-launched the Thompson Economic Diversification Working Group, which developed action plans for economic development and diversification collaboratively with involvement from aboriginal communities, government and community organizations.

Finalists for the TSM Environmental Excellence Award

Dominion Diamond Corporation and Rio Tinto For grizzly bear monitoring in the Northwest Territories Dominion 

Diamond Corporation’s Ekati mine and Rio Tinto’s Diavik mine established the Grizzly Bear DNA program in the Northwest Territories in 2012. The large-scale study encompasses a 16,000-kilometre area around the two operations and will help determine if minerelated activities influence the relative abundance and distribution of grizzly bears over time through DNA analysis from hair samples.

Iamgold Corporation For launching a reforestation program in the region surrounding its Essakane mine in Burkina Faso

Communities around the mine depend on trees for firewood, food and traditional medicine. With trees having to be removed to construct the mine, Iamgold launched a reforestation program in 2009 to compensate for the loss to local biodiversity, aiming to plant 100,000 living trees by the time it ceases operations. Iamgold has trained local women in nursery techniques and they have planted 200,000 trees so far.

Syncrude Canada For restoring wetlands in northern Alberta

Inspired by the fen wetlands of northern Alberta Syncrude created an interdisciplinary team of experts to begin the Sandhill Fen Research Watershed initiative in 2007 to reclaim a tailings structure. The watershed,completed in 2012, was developed on 52 hectares of land on a portion of what was once a 60-metre deep mine. This project is young, but results are encouraging: peat studies show it is possible to transplant live peat and grow it in a newly constructed area; many native plants have taken root on their own.

Vale For water monitoring programs near its Voisey Bay operation in Newfoundland and Labrador

Vale’s Voisey’s Bay operation in Newfoundland and Labrador, in partnership with the provincial government, set an industry best practice through the Real Time Water Quality (RTWQ) Monitoring Partnership – a program that provides near real-time water quality information of various streams near the mine and mill. Community members use the information to enhance traditional knowledge as the water stage, flow measurements and water temperature can help predict the migration patterns of Arctic char. Next: Sudbury’s supportive branch

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