2014 — Fraser Basin Council
The impacts of climate change – such as an increase in extreme weather events and long-term changes to temperature and precipitation patterns – pose challenges for Canada’s mining sector.
Tailings impoundment design, for example, can be affected by long-term temperature change; transportation routes can be affected by freeze-thaw cycles or permafrost degradation; tailings management can be affected by extreme rainfall; mine site water balance can be affected by both short- and long-term changes in hydrology; and mining infrastructure can be vulnerable to damage during extreme weather events. Alongside operational challenges are other business risks: supply chain disruptions, increased insured losses, threats to health and safety, potential increase in legal liability, and project financing uncertainty. All warrant attention within the context of a changing weather regime through design and implementation of appropriate adaptation measures.
In 2013-2014 the Fraser Basin Council prepared several climate change adaptation case studies in the mining sector, in partnership with the Mining Innovation, Rehabilitation and Applied Research Corporation (MIRARCO) of Sudbury and its parent organization, the Ontario Centre for Climate Impacts and Adaptation Resources (OCCIAR).
This case study focuses on the multinational mining company Glencore and its mining operations in Sudbury, Ontario. It summarizes Glencore’s efforts to take stock of climate risks in various facets of its business and the process underway to manage those risks. The case study is intended to support other mining companies in Canada as they consider climate-related risks, how those will affect their business, and what steps might be taken.
The case study is made possible through funding from Natural Resources Canada’s Enhancing Competitiveness in a Changing Climate Program.