Syncrude Canada and IAMGOLD get top nods for inaugural TSM Awards
OTTAWA, May 13, 2014 /CNW/ - For their innovative projects that raise the bar for corporate
responsibility in the Canadian mining sector, Syncrude Canada and
IAMGOLD Corporation were recognized with inaugural Towards Sustainable
Mining (TSM) Awards yesterday at the Canadian Institute of Mining,
Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIM) Awards Gala in Vancouver.
IAMGOLD Corporation was recognized with the TSM Community Engagement
Award for its village market gardening project in Burkina Faso, while
Syncrude Canada was honoured with the TSM Award for Environmental
Excellence for its tailings reclamation project, the Sandhill Fen
Research Watershed Initiative.
"We extend our congratulations to Syncrude Canada and IAMGOLD
Corporation for this important distinction, and for being positive
catalysts of change in the communities where they operate," said Pierre
Gratton, MAC's President and CEO. "Each of these projects is an example
of how Canadian miners continue to drive world leading environmental
practices and continue to find new and innovative ways to collaborate
A total of 25 nominations were submitted by mining companies that
participate in the TSM initiative. The selection committee, comprised
of members from MAC's independent national community of interest (i.e.
stakeholder) advisory panel, selected the finalists based on criteria
such as innovation, involvement of and engagement with communities, and
project outcomes. TSM performance was also considered as an indicator
of the company's ongoing commitment to corporate responsibility.
"Being on the TSM Awards selection committee was really a pleasure,"
said Philip Oxhorn, Professor of Political Science and Founding
Director of the Institute for the Study of International Development,
McGill University. "The quality of the proposals was very impressive
from the perspective of their contributions to local development. In
fact, deciding on the winners from among them was quite a challenge!"
TSM Environmental Excellence Award 2014 Winner: Syncrude Canada
In the boreal forests of Northern Alberta where Syncrude has a large oil
sands mining operation, fen wetlands are commonplace and, in nature,
can take thousands of years to establish. This peat-forming,
groundwater-fed wetland became Syncrude's source of inspiration as it
looked to transform a tailings structure into a thriving wetland in
With very little information on fen reclamation to refer to, Syncrude
established the interdisciplinary Sandhill Fen Technical Advisory Panel
to create something that had never been done before, and the Sandhill
Fen Research Watershed Initiative was born. The watershed was developed
on 52 hectares of sand-capped soft tailings on a portion of what was
once a 60-metre deep mine. In all, more than 28 kinds of wetland plants
were introduced and vegetation was selected to mirror those in
naturally-occurring fens in the area. Construction of the watershed was
completed in 2012 and will be closely monitored over the next 10 to 20
This project is still in its early years, but results are encouraging.
Peat studies show that it is possible to transplant live peat from a
natural environment and grow it in a newly-constructed area.
Additionally, a number of native plants have successfully taken seed
and are growing on their own without having been planted. The
information being gathered is invaluable towards improving wetland
reclamation best practices for Syncrude and the oil sands industry as a
TSM Community Engagement Award 2014 Winner: IAMGOLD Corporation
In the Sahel region of Burkina Faso, home to IAMGOLD's Essakane gold
mine, the climate is desert-like, often reaching 45 ̊ C with very
little rainfall. Populations largely rely on livestock breeding and
gold mining for their livelihoods. To improve security and combat
poverty in the region, IAMGOLD committed to develop alternate revenue
sources for communities living near the mine site. Working with
communities of interest, market gardening emerged as an opportunity to
broaden revenue sources, while at the same time improve food security
In 2009, 100 women from the relocated 500-member Marganta community
adopted the practice using a solar-powered well and water storage
system provided by IAMGOLD. This innovation has greatly lightened the
women's workload and has allowed them to water garden beds without
worrying about a lack of water. Two years later, drip irrigation
technology was added, which has helped increase production without
increasing water use. Vegetables can now be cultivated year-round,
increasing the number of harvests to two to three per year instead of
Since 2009, nearly 400 producers (more than 50% women) have earned
additional revenue through market gardening, and many have doubled
their annual income. What's more, there has been an increase in people
choosing gardening over gold panning. The project's success has also
generated much interest by neighbouring villages and other mining
companies who would like to replicate it in other regions.
Now in its tenth year, TSM is a performance-based program in which
mining operations evaluate, manage and publicly report on critical
environmental and social responsibilities. For more information about
the TSM Awards or the TSM initiative, please visit www.mining.ca.
The Mining Association of Canada is the national organization for the
Canadian mining industry. Its members account for most of Canada's
production of base and precious metals, uranium, diamonds,
metallurgical coal, mined oil sands and industrial minerals and are
actively engaged in mineral exploration, mining, smelting, refining and
semi-fabrication. Please visit www.mining.ca.
SOURCE: Mining Association of Canada (MAC)
For further information:
(613) 233-9392 x225 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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