Aug 6, 2015

Will the Canadian mining industry make changes to protect the environment?

Cutter Slagle
3 min
Originally reported by our sister brand Mining Global, the mining industry in Canada has recently been acc...

Originally reported by our sister brand Mining Global, the mining industry in Canada has recently been accused of hurting the surrounding environment. Quite huge throughout the county, this sector has been asked to make some improvements. But the real question(s) seem to be: what are these changes and will they really make a difference?

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Specifically, First Nations and community organizations from both Canada and Alaska are asking the Canadian Energy and Mines ministers to act immediately—they’re asking for these groups to prevent any further type of damage that has already been caused from the hundreds of mine waste dams and impoundments.

In a recent letter addressed to the groups mentioned above,  particular changes are needed following the failure of the Mount Polley tailings site in British Columbia. But what are these changes and can they be incorporated into daily plans?

First off, ministers are being asked to “recognize that there are certain places where the downstream values are too great to expose to the risks associated with the disposal of tailings sites.”

Furthermore, mining ventures taking place along transboundary rivers that flow into Southeast Alaska have led to environmentalists and fishery entities being greatly concerned about the potential negative impact of mine wastes on salmon habitat, which is critical to the overall economy and lifestyles of the surrounding residents.

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It would appear that change is possible and could happen, because also addressed in the letter are methods to possibly fixing the issues. These ideas include the creation of independent tailings review boards, as well as an International Joint Commission review for transboundary mines that are located on the Canada-U.S. border that actually present a risk to either country’s waters.

Furthermore, the letter went on to suggest that one of the mining dams failed due to faulty design. Therefore, design issues have been called into play, with a request for more in-depth pre-work to take place.

Even more so, the various types of technology that are used by the mining sector have been called into question. Supposedly, unsafe operational practices need to be fixed, such as changing the way water is stored, as well as the overall regulation and operation of mining waste facilities. But will these changes actually take place?

The requested changes might take place, as the accusations are quite serious and could eventually have dire consequences. But when will they take place? And when they finally do, will it be too late for the Canadian environment?

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[SOURCE: The Cordova Times]

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Jun 7, 2021

Trafigura and Yara International explore clean ammonia usage

Dominic Ellis
2 min
Commodity trading company Trafigura and Yara International sign MoU to explore developing ammonia as a clean fuel in shipping

Independent commodity trading company Trafigura and Yara International have signed an MoU to explore developing ammonia as a clean fuel in shipping and ammonia fuel infrastructure.

Reducing shipping emissions is a vital component of the fight against global climate change, yet Greenhouse Gas emissions from the global maritime sector are increasing - and at odds with the IMO's strategy to cut absolute emissions by at least 50% by 2050. 

How more than 70,000 ships can decrease their reliance on carbon-based sources is one of transport's most pressing decarbonisation challenges.

Yara and Trafigura intend to collaborate on initiatives that will establish themselves in the clean ammonia value chain. Under the MoU announced today, Trafigura and Yara intend to work together in the following areas:

  • The supply of clean ammonia by Yara to Trafigura Group companies
  • Exploration of joint R&D initiatives for clean ammonia application as a marine fuel
  • Development of new clean ammonia assets including marine fuel infrastructure and market opportunities

Magnus Krogh Ankarstrand, President of Yara Clean Ammonia, said the agreement is a good example of cross-industry collaboration to develop and promote zero-emission fuel in the form of clean ammonia for the shipping industry. "Building clean ammonia value chains is critical to facilitate the transition to zero emission fuels by enabling the hydrogen economy – not least within trade and distribution where both Yara and Trafigura have leading capabilities. Demand and supply of clean ammonia need to be developed in tandem," he said.  

There is a growing consensus that hydrogen-based fuels will ultimately be the shipping fuels of the future, but clear and comprehensive regulation is essential, according to Jose Maria Larocca, Executive Director and Co-Head of Oil Trading for Trafigura.

Ammonia has a number of properties that require "further investigation," according to Wartsila. "It ignites and burns poorly compared to other fuels and is toxic and corrosive, making safe handling and storage important. Burning ammonia could also lead to higher NOx emissions unless controlled either by aftertreatment or by optimising the combustion process," it notes.

Trafigura has co-sponsored the R&D of MAN Energy Solutions’ ammonia-fuelled engine for maritime vessels, has performed in-depth studies of transport fuels with reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and has published a white paper on the need for a global carbon levy for shipping fuels to be introduced by International Maritime Organization.

Oslo-based Yara produces roughly 8.5 million tonnes of ammonia annually and employs a fleet of 11 ammonia carriers, including 5 fully owned ships, and owns 18 marine ammonia terminals with 580 kt of storage capacity – enabling it to produce and deliver ammonia across the globe.

It recently established a new clean ammonia unit to capture growth opportunities in emission-free fuel for shipping and power, carbon-free fertilizer and ammonia for industrial applications.

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