SITE REMEDIATION: Former Gaspe smelter site work completed

QUEBEC - After five years of work and spending $130 million, Xstrata Copper Canada of Toronto says the mining ...




QUEBEC - After five years of work and spending $130 million, Xstrata Copper Canada of Toronto says the mining and metallurgical site of the former Gaspe smelter in Murdochville is officially complete. The Sandy Beach region surrounding the port of Gaspe has also been rehabilitated.

The soil rehabilitation program targeted surface soils in Murdochville and Sandy Beach that were affected by former metallurgical and logistical operations. The demolition of plant buildings required careful planning to make the most of equipment resale and recycling opportunities, said the company. Any remaining dams have been reinforced and reconfigured to withstand peak meteorological events. A new, higher performance, less energy-intensive water treatment facility has also been built. As well, sites with topsoil have been reseeded to encourage new vegetation.

To further benefit the community, regional contractors were given preference throughout the project. At the height of the program, more than 250 workers from various businesses were employed on the project. Xstrata Copper's emphasis on health and safety led to impressive results. There were no lost-time injuries throughout the entire project.

Jacques Moulins, GM environment and rehabilitated mine sites, said, "We are proud of what we have achieved in Murdochville, especially the quality of the work done, our health and safety performance and our transparent relationship with the community. We have achieved our objective of returning to local stakeholders a healthy environment for which they can actively pursue other avenues of development."

Although the site is closed, it will be supervised on a full-time basis by an Xstrata Copper Canada employee who will be responsible for the inspection of the dams and for making sure that water treatment equipment is operating properly.

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