Canadian Mining Journal

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ENVIRONMENTAL AWARD: Genivar wins for cleanup of Xstrata’s Gaspe site

QUEBEC - ­­The winner of the prestigious 2011Schreyer Award, presented at the Canadian Consulting Engineering awards, is consulting engineering firm Genivar of Montreal. The firm won for its role in decommissioning the former Gaspe...


QUEBEC – ­­The winner of the prestigious 2011Schreyer Award, presented at the Canadian Consulting Engineering awards, is consulting engineering firm Genivar of Montreal. The firm won for its role in decommissioning the former Gaspe copper mining and smelting site in Murdochville.

The Gaspe mine and smelter was built by Noranda, but ceased operations in 2002. The site is now owned by Xstrata Copper. The decommissioning was the largest project of its kind in Canada, was completed after four-years’ work in 2010 at a total cost of $130 million.

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 m2 of land (the equivalent of 80 Canadian football fields); the removal of 7 km 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 Gaspe, where copper concentrate was transloaded and stored before treatment.

The Schreyer Award, is presented to the designers of the project with the highest technical merit. The award is named in honour of former Governor General Rt. Hon. Edward Schreyer, who has strong ties to the engineering profession. There is no doubt that the quality of the team’s work now positions Genivar as a gold standard for similar projects. In the words of the jury, the Rehabilitation of the Gaspe mines has “set a benchmark for future mine decommissioning projects.

To see a short video about the Gaspe mine and smelter rehabilitation project, click here. To view an article about the project in Canadian Consulting Engineer magazine, click here.