Canadian Mining Journal

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ENVIRONMENT: Vale pledges $2-B to Sudbury “Clean AER” project

ONTARIO – Brazilian owner Vale has approved a $2-billion project to reduce airborne emissions from its Sudbury nickel smelter. The Clean AER (atmospheric emissions reduction) project will reduce sulphur dioxide emissions 70% from current...



ONTARIO – Brazilian owner Vale has approved a $2-billion project to reduce airborne emissions from its Sudbury nickel smelter. The Clean AER (atmospheric emissions reduction) project will reduce sulphur dioxide emissions 70% from current levels.

The 70% reduction in sulphur dioxide emissions at Vale’s Sudbury operations will put Vale well below government regulated emissions limits by 2015 – 45 kilotonnes per year versus the regulatory limit of 66 kilotonnes per year. The project will also reduce emissions of dust and metals by 35% to 40% from current levels.

(Long-time CMJ readers will recall the smelter emissions have already been cut 90% from the levels of the 1970s.)

Vale said in a news release that it has invested $100 million in research and development for the Clean AER project. Completing the project will require 8 million person-hours from a peak construction workforce of 1,300 people. During the retrofit, the smelter will continue to operate regularly.

Construction is to begin in April 2012 with completion at the end of 2015.

Visit the corporate website at Vale.com.