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Sudbury’s regreening success story attracts Peruvian delegation

Industry and academic groups from Peru arrive in August to talk environmental remediation
Sudbury regreening 1
A delegation from Peru will visit Sudbury in August to learn about that city's regreening efforts. (File photo)

Sudbury’s regreening efforts are attracting a Peruvian delegation to visit the Nickel City in August.

A group comprising government officials, mining company executives and university researchers will arrive to learn about 40 years of Sudbury’s regreening efforts.

Organized by the Core Foundation, the visitors on the Aug. 12-16 trip will be meeting with key figures from Laurentian University’s Goodman School of Mines, the Vale Living with Lakes Centre, and the Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation (CEMI) on how Sudbury’s environmental success story can be replicated elsewhere.

The Core Foundation is an international non-profit organization. Their mandate is to seek solutions for food security, environmental protections, protection for native wildlife, and economic development in Latin America.

The visitors will be whisked around various sites of interest in the Sudbury basin, participate in a workshop, and meet with key individuals who were part of the remediation of Sudbury’s landscape from the impacts of mining. 

CEMI president Doug Morrison said the Peruvians want to learn about the kind of technical work being done with an aim toward setting up a similar kind of research institute in their own country.

They hope to give them a flavour of what was accomplished in Sudbury and impart some ideas on what can be done in within their more mountainous terrain, climate and ecologies, said Morrison.

“They don’t have the same plants as we have, they certainly don’t have as much water as we have, but they’ll need to do the same kind of thing as we have done, and that’s what we would like to achieve.”

Peru has a number of new mine projects in the pipeline, Morrison said, but also some toxic legacy sites, left behind by bankrupt mining companies, with 30-year-old tailings ponds that have dried up, are completely desiccated, and are blowing fugitive dust everywhere.

“They’re asking for solutions on what to do about that and how to stop it from happening again.”

CEMI will spend a day with the group talking about practical techniques, such as various covering systems for tailings, and intend to present them with potential solutions on what can be tried in the future.

“We will talk to the Peruvians about what we think is a way forward.”