Toronto, 10 November 2011
Xstrata Copper Canada is pleased to announce that consulting engineering firm Genivar won the prestigious 2011 Schreyer Award at this year’s Canadian Consulting Engineering Awards for its role in the decommissioning of our former Gaspé copper mining and smelting site located in Murdochville, Quebec.
On awarding Genivar the event’s most coveted recognition, the jury noted that the rehabilitation of the 50-year old Gaspé site had “set a benchmark for future mine decommissioning projects.”
The decommissioning of the former Gaspé copper mining and smelting site, the largest project of its kind in Canada, took four years and was completed in 2010 at a total cost of CA$130 million. In accordance with Xstrata’s commitment to sustainable development, the project aimed to return healthy and safe land to local stakeholders, enabling them to pursue new opportunities for development.
The mine and smelting site housed around 40 buildings, including two concentrators, the copper smelter, a sulphuric acid plant, conveyors, garages, storage facilities and administrative offices. As such, the project involved the rehabilitation of 650,000 square metres of land (the equivalent of 80 Canadian football fields); the removal of seven kilometres of electrical transmission lines; and the construction of 240 metres of channels for water management.
The project also included the rehabilitation of surface soils at 736 properties in the town of Murdochville and in the port area of Gaspé, where copper concentrate was transloaded and stored before treatment.
“Even though the numbers tell the technical story, the decommissioning was first and foremost a human experience,” said Jacques Moulins, General Manager, Environment, Site Rehabilitation and Resources Conservation for Xstrata Copper Canada.
“We were committed to ensuring that the communities involved in the project understood the work we were undertaking and we maintained regular contact with both residents and local authorities.”
“Throughout the decommissioning process we held open house sessions for local stakeholders; published regular community bulletins; and implemented a dedicated community telephone line. We also met with each individual property owner to plan remediation work and ensure they were satisfied with the end result.”
With such a large and complex program to execute, the health and safety of the 250 workers involved remained a top priority for both companies. A comprehensive health, safety and emergency response programme, resulted in an exemplary safety performance with no lost-time injuries for the duration of the project, which totalled over 670,400 person-hours
“At the end of our journey, I believe our success was the result of Xstrata’s clear commitment to sustainable practices, the dedication of the Xstrata Copper and Genivar teams to find sustainable solutions and liaise with local stakeholders, and the continued support of the local communities and authorities,” concluded Mr. Moulins.
For more details about the Schreyer-winning project in this month’s Canadian Consulting Engineer magazine: http://www.canadianconsultingengineer.com/issues/de.aspx .
Manager, Corporate Affairs
T: +1 514 645 2311 ext. 2162
Notes to editors
ABOUT XSTRATA PLC
Xstrata is a global diversified mining group, listed on the London and Swiss Stock Exchanges. Headquartered in Zug, Switzerland, Xstrata maintains a meaningful position in seven major international commodity markets: copper, coking coal, thermal coal, ferrochrome, nickel, vanadium and zinc with additional exposure to gold, cobalt, lead and silver. The Xstrata Group also comprises a growing platinum group metals business, iron ore projects, recycling facilities and a suite of global technology products, many of which are industry leaders. The Group's operations and projects span 20 countries.
ABOUT XSTRATA COPPER
Xstrata Copper is the fourth largest global copper producer with attributable mined production in 2010 of 913,500 tonnes of copper in cathodes and concentrates. The company is also one of the world’s largest producers of smelter and refined copper, including from third party materials.
Headquartered in Brisbane, Xstrata Copper is one of the commodity business units within the major global diversified mining group Xstrata plc. Its mining and metallurgical operations and development projects span eight countries: Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, Peru, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea and the USA. Its operations and projects are administered through a regional divisional management structure, which ensures that critical decisions are taken close to the related businesses. It also has a recycling business (Xstrata Recycling) with plants in the United States and offices in Canada and Asia.