Fraser Basin Council
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Resources

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.

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 Galore Creek project, a large copper-gold-silver open pit deposit approximately 200 km northwest of Stewart, BC.

In 2011 the project area was subject to an extreme rainfall event that resulted in flooding, damage and need for remedial action.

This case study offers insights from Galore Creek Mining Corporation into the issues faced at the project site, and what work is underway to address weather and climate-related challenges in future. Challenges include significant variations in precipitation over relatively small areas of rugged terrain, which makes it complex to design robust water management infrastructure; transport of people, equipment and supplies to and from the site; glacial recession and lack of historical climate and hydrological data in proximity to the site.

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. 

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.

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 describes the efforts of one multinational mining and metals company – Nyrstar – to deal with weather-related challenges at its Myra Falls operation on Vancouver Island in British Columbia. It is anticipated that a synopsis of the experience will be of benefit to other mining companies in Canada.

The case study is made possible through funding from Natural Resources Canada’s Enhancing Competitiveness in a Changing Climate Program. 

2012 – ICF Marbek for the Adaptation Platform Mining Working Group, a project of Natural Resources Canada

The State of Play report summarizes current information on climate change impacts in Canada’s mining sector, future projections, challenges and opportunities, and adaptation planning and actions undertaken in the sector to date.

2013 — International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM)

This report explains why it is important for the mining and metals sector to understand the impacts from a changing climate and to develop strategies to adapt. It looks at relevant climate impacts, how mining and metals companies can evaluate risks and opportunities associated with those impacts and what options for adaptation are available for the sector.

 2011 — BSR

This is a briefing paper on how mining companies are reporting on climate change risks and opportunities. These include disturbances to mine infrastructure and operations, changing access to supply chains and distribution routes, challenges to worker health and safety conditions, challenges to environmental management and mitigation, more pressure points with community relations, exploration and future growth. The brief outlines current and emerging best practices and guidance for mining companies on how to develop a proactive approach to climate change adaptation, and makes recommendations.

2014, Delphi Group for the Mining Association of Canada

This report presents the results of a survey of 26 Canadian mining companies with operations across the country about their current adaptation actions.

Keywords: Canada, Mining

2015 - Ernst & Young LLP

This report describes the impacts of climate change on mining operations, transportation and reclamation in Ontario and Quebec. The study forecasts the economic costs associated with improving the climate change resiliency of mine operations and in closure plans, as well as the costs of responding to impacts when they occur. An economic modelling tool (The Economic Model for Mining Investment Scenarios) was developed to calculate the net present value of investing in adaptation measures today, versus responding to impacts when their full effect becomes known. In-person workshops were conducted at four mine sites located in Quebec and Ontario to obtain input data to test the functionality and decision-making capability of the EMMIS tool. 

2014, Ontario Centre for Climate Impacts and Adaptation Resources and Risk Sciences International

This study assesses the ability of 10 of Ontario’s existing mining policy tools to support climate change adaptation. It focuses on policy instruments relating to the design and management of tailings facilities and mine closure planning.

Keywords: Canada, Mining

About ReTooling for Climate Change

The ReTooling for Climate Change website is a project of the Fraser Basin Council to support local governments and First Nations in BC in preparing for climate change adaptation. The site is funded through the BC Regional Adaptation Collaborative (BC RAC), a partnership program of the Fraser Basin Council and the BC Ministry of Environment – Climate Action Secretariat, with funding from Natural Resources Canada and other in-kind contributions.

Find out more about the Fraser Basin Council and the BC RAC at www.fraserbasin.bc.ca.

We want to hear from you

Share your ideas and suggestions for new resource links to , Senior Program Manager, at the Fraser Basin Council.

Also worth a visit

On this site, you’ll find links to many helpful websites on climate change adaptation.

For steps communities can take to mitigate climate change, check out the Climate Action Toolkit website.