The mining industry has been transformed by society’s anticipation that mining operations meet rigorous environmental standards. New, more demanding regulations have been adopted, aiming to protect the environment with respect to sustainable development and provide solutions to complex social challenges.
Mining companies are adjusting to these changes and are operating in a more sustainable manner, taking the biophysical, social and economic environments into consideration. Reputable mining companies are proactively contributing to the societies and communities in which they operate, in accordance with global best practices.
Assisting Throughout the Entire Mining Lifecycle
At WSP, we provide our clients with mining-specific environmental services across all stages of the mining life cycle, from exploration and pre-feasibility and feasibility, through to operation, decommissioning and closure. Since no two mining projects are the same, we tailor our environmental services to the specific context and current development stage of your mining project in order to meet your immediate needs.
When Atha-Africa Ventures commissioned our Durban office in South Africa to provide a detailed hydrological and hydrogeological assessment for the development of an underground coal mine in an area with abundant springs and wetlands in Wakkerstroom, South Africa, the assessment concluded that substantial impacts to the quality and quantity of both surface and groundwater were expected through the development of the mine. In particular, certain wetlands could dry up due to mine dewatering of the shallow aquifer. Atha-Africa was guided by the results into investigating alternative locations for selected components of the mine infrastructure in order to protect the sensitive resources.
No matter the size or stage of development, our clients can draw on the expertise of WSP’s in- house disciplines to deliver cost-effective solutions, including natural sciences, hydrogeology, air quality and acoustics, geotechnical, industrial hygiene, tailings and surface water management, mine engineering and mineral processing. Seasoned experts in these disciplines include biologists, geoscientists, geologists, hydrogeologists, geotechnical expert, cartographers, urban planners, architects, computer specialists, engineers of all disciplines and other professionals who assist stakeholders in the development of a mining project.
WSP was involved with the first mining operation and copper smelter decommissioning project in Canada, handling over 1,000,000 m3 of materials. The combined effort of WSP’s Québec, Montréal and Gaspé offices assembled a multidisciplinary decommissioning and closure team for the closure of Glencore’s (previously Xstrata Copper Canada) Murchdochville Gaspé Mine complex, including an offsite concentrate and sulphuric acid storage and handling facility located 100 km away from the mine site. We provided complete engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) services on the rehabilitation project, and were the main environmental consultants for both the rehabilitation of the mine and the residential properties that were affected by mine historical operations in nearby towns. Our team’s dedication, innovation and environmentally-friendly solutions were instrumental in its successful closure. This achievement was recognized by the Association of Consulting Industries Companies of Canada, which awarded WSP the prestigious Schreyer award in 2011.
Our multidisciplinary team provides world-class expertise in the following areas: