The challenges of extending the lifespan of Mont-Wright Tailings deposit

CIM Montreal 2015
Sébastien Moreau (ArcelorMittal Mining Canada), Julie Gravel (ArcelorMittal Mining Canada), Frédéric Choquet (AMEC E&E)
Mont-Wright Tailings Storage Facility has been active since 1976 and is operated by ArcelorMittal Mining Canada. It is located in the region of Fermont, Quebec province. With an area of 20 km² and over 100 meters high in some places, it is one of the largest Tailings Deposit in North America. Since 2014, nearly 45 million tons of tailings are confined each year in Mont-Wright. At this rate, the current tailings will be at full capacity in ten years. Despite the global iron ore mining context, ArcelorMittal has established a mining plan which extends the mine life of at least 30 years. To meet the needs of the mining plan, ArcelorMittal has analyzed the alternatives to the tailings storage. The findings of his approach that incorporates the study of social and environmental impacts, shows that the development of a new method of deposition combined with the construction of a new tailings disposal site are required. The article introduces the strategies to meet the twin challenge of managing operational change and obtaining environmental authorizations.
Keywords: Tailings Management, Environmental Authorization, ArcelorMittal, Tailings, Tailings Storage Facility, Mont-Wright, Environmental Impact Assessment, Iron Ore
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