Thursday, August 20, 2009

Climate change to hit Canadian mining industry hard: Suzuki Foundation

Melanie Kuxdorf in the Tyee (Canada): A study released today predicts that the Canadian mining industry will be hit hard by climate change, and must adapt. The study, undertaken by the David Suzuki Foundation, made clear that the industry is already feeling the impacts of global warming, that there are solutions to the problem.

“Because of its dependency on the natural environment, the Canadian mining sector is particularly vulnerable to the consequences of climate change,” said co-author Jason Prno in a press release. Dale Marshall, climate policy analyst with the Suzuki Foundation, told The Tyee they commissioned the study because there wasn’t a lot of research that had been done before in the area.

…Researchers surveyed employees of six mining operations. Most mining companies expected negative impacts from climate change. Marshall said that people in the mining sector pointed to flooding and drought as two major impacts. Flooding can wash out a vital access road and drought can take away the water needed in mining processes.

The survey showed that all mine employees in the field recognized climate change as a threat. Only 25 per cent of senior management, however, believed that climate variability would impact their operations….

Korite International's ammolite open-pit mining operations in Alberta, Canada. Submitted with the permission of Kenneth Hare of Korite International. Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 License


Real estate Toronto said...

Remind me not to contribute to the Suzuki foundation. This study was a waste of money. Mining companies operate on a huge scale unknown to most city folk. They level mountains, fill valleys, and dam rivers with equipment the size of apartment buildings. I can't see flooding and drought having much effect on these guys.

Take care, Elli

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Anonymous said...

I disagree with Elli's comment. More frequent flooding could fill mines, and since it costs a heck of a lot to pump out all that water, paying that money more frequently will really cut into the profits. It's another case for droughts; the mining sector relies heavily on water for its operations, in times of shortages, operations would have to slow, again cutting into the profits.

Then there's the effect of permafrost thawing on infrastructure which is designed specifically for permafrost conditions. That's really gonna screw things up!