Vale has been operating in Sudbury for more than 100 years. Located about 400 kilometres north of Toronto, Canada, and surrounded by lakes and wilderness, the City of Greater Sudbury is the educational, medical, and retail centre of northeastern Ontario.
Vale's operations in Sudbury are among the largest in the world.The Sudbury Basin possesses untapped deposits of nickel that help ensure mining will continue to play an important role in the life of the community.
The partnership between the Sudbury community and Vale has been rewarding on both sides. Vale has a long history of corporate leadership and support of the Sudbury area.
We support a cross-section of programs in health care, education, social services and the arts, helping to make Sudbury a better place to live. Vale also makes major financial contributions that support Sudbury's goal of achieving economic diversity.
We have been a long-time supporter of Science North, northern Ontario's most popular tourist attractions and an educational resource for children and adults across the province. In 1981, the company donated Cdn. $5 million to the facility, which at the time was the largest corporate donation to a community project in Canadian history.
For our operating plants, there are established limits on the discharges of substances that may cause environmental impacts in the natural environment. For reclamation and closure projects, there are guidelines for air, water and soil, as well as restoration that need to be met.
Vale has made significant investments to improve its environmental performance in Sudbury. In 2006, we began operating a new state-of-the-art Cdn. $115 million facility, which reduces emissions by capturing sulphur dioxide gases from our smelter. This investment is the latest addition to the Cdn. $1 billion the company has spent since 1970 to improve air quality in Sudbury.
We support the Laurentian University Cooperative Freshwater Ecology Unit, a multi-stakeholder organization with a range of participants including Vale. The unit focuses on ecological research. Among the research conducted to date, the unit has documented significant improvements in water quality as emission reductions have occurred.
Vale is also a supporter of the Living with Lakes Centre (LLC), which will provide a new home for the growing Cooperative Freshwater Ecology Unit as it continues to develop as a centre of excellence in freshwater restoration. Coupled with its excellence in applied research, the LLC will be one of the cornerstones of the region's future prosperity, and have a strong public outreach program.
Sudbury Soils Study
In 2001, the Ontario Ministry of the Environment (MOE) reported metal levels in Sudbury soils that exceeded recommended levels. Vale is committed to evaluating the ecological and human health risks of our historical operations in the region.
We are participating in the Sudbury Soils Study, one of the most comprehensive studies of its kind in North America. This is a voluntary community partnership involving the Ministry of the Environment (MOE), the Sudbury and District Health Unit, the City of Greater Sudbury, Health Canada First Nations and Inuit Health Branch and Xstrata Nickel.
Regreening is an important and visible part of Vale's significant environmental stewardship program. We have received international acclaim for our contribution to reclaiming the Sudbury landscape, both on our own property and on public lands through the Vegetation Enhancement Technical Advisory Committee of the City of Greater Sudbury. While the effects of early lumbering and mining practices are still visible, reforestation is gradually returning the area landscape to its natural state.
Using both surface and underground greenhouses, Vale grows some 250,000 seedlings each year for reforestation purposes. We have transformed thousands of acres of land affected by air emissions into parkland, bird sanctuaries and wildlife habitat. Today, we are integrating reclamation into the earliest stages of new project development.
© Vale 2010
Last Updated: Friday, March 30, 2012