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Making Green Waves Underground

March 19, 2024 7:00 AM | News

The following is a sponsored advertorial on behalf of the Mining Association of Manitoba Inc.

Mining Association of Manitoba Inc.

People in Manitoba care about the environment. Climate change, water preservation, and habitat protection are top of mind when folks think about natural resource management, including our mineral resources.

What few people know is that Manitoba mines operate under some of the most stringent environmental and safety regulatory standards in the world, covering exploration to processing to progressive waste management treatment.

What’s more, minerals mined here are fundamental ingredients in the green technologies making life more sustainable for future generations, like solar panels, hybrid vehicles, and wind turbines, along with brand new innovations.

Neil Richardson, Director of Exploration for HudBay Minerals, points out that people often react negatively to mining because they equate it to what they have seen in less developed countries. “We are doing (mining) in a more environmentally sustainable and manageable way here in Manitoba and in Canada,” Richardson says.

Mining Association of Manitoba Inc.

It’s true. Permits are not given without detailed plans and funding in place for site rehabilitation from the very beginning, and green technologies are now present in all new operations.

Most mining operations also have access to Manitoba’s clean hydro-electric power grid, with fleets transitioning away from fossil fuel sources in favour of electric power. The industry is committed to progress towards net-zero emissions with the rest of Canada by 2050.

On the reconciliation front, Indigenous communities and Elders are consulted at every stage of mining, often starting well before the permitting process.

Mining Association of Manitoba Inc.

“(The focus is) talking to that community and consulting with them in a meaningful way so they are a part of the process and a part of the business opportunity,” says Jack Winram, Executive Director of the Manitoba Environmental Industries Association (MEIA). “Not just the jobs, but the business opportunity. I think that’s where Manitoba can have an advantage going forward,” Winram adds.

Mining is truly in constant evolution. Stacy Kennedy, President of the Mining Association of Manitoba Inc. (MAMI) and Director of Manitoba Operations for Vale in Thompson, describes how electric vehicles have changed things for the better.

“Historically you would hear loud vehicles coming. And with combustion engines, you would have air quality challenges within mines, but it’s not that at all anymore. When we drive around, there’s no noise, it’s quiet. There are now these beautiful vehicles that have no emissions in our underground work environment.”

It’s a perfect example of how far we’ve come.

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Tags: Manitoba