Environmentally Sustainable Mining
This field trip illustrates the difference between mining activity that has produced environmental problems through poor practices as compared to activity conducted with a plan for remediation and control of potential pollution of an environmentally sensitive area.
Context for Use
Description and Teaching Materials
Sustainability in our area of northwestern Ontario is concerned with mining activities' sustainability in relation to the environment. A striking illustration can be seen in a one-day field trip to two now closed mines. The North Coldstream Mine operated from 1957 to 1967 producing 2.5 million tonnes of copper-zinc sulfide ore. The mine closed before environmental regulations were enacted. It provides a contrast to the nearby Shebandowan Mine that operated between 1973 and 1998 producing 9.29 tonnes of copper-nickel sulfide ore. In this case, environmental standards came into effect during the lifetime of the mine. The relatively well regulated remediation activities at Shebandowan are in strong contrast to the serious environmental problems at the North Coldstream site.
Environmentally Sustainable Mining (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 10kB Jun20 12)
Teaching Notes and Tips
Safety-toed boots are required, and in summer, insect repellent, especially for ticks is needed. It may be advisable to carry bear spray and bear bangers.
References and Resources
(available as a PDF at www.lakesuperiorgeology.org)