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Protecting people and places

Sustainable synergy: Nurturing the equilibrium between green solutions and our clients and communities

HEATHER ROYSTON, Managing Director, Environment and Sustainability

With the rising need for sustainable practices and a reduced carbon footprint, it’s never been more important to find balance between industrial operations and natural resources. By prioritizing the people and places we serve, we can safeguard the path to decarbonization and develop new strategies to protect our complicated world.

Decarbonization continues to rise and is being supported by innovative technologies. While our focus remains on energy efficiency, behavioral change, renewables, hydrogen, and carbon capture, it’s important to prioritize the protection of our people and planet. To do this, we must update and maintain strong environmental ethics, placing them at the forefront of project design, delivery, and decarbonization strategy.

When we take on capital projects, we form a partnership with our clients by making sure that together we avoid, minimize, and mitigate our impacts on the environment. We are proud that our clients are aware and mindful of this agenda, and this rise in awareness is driving transformative change. Together, as leaders in this space, we aren’t just supporting these initiatives; we’re creating and guiding them. Gone are the days when businesses only need to be concerned with the bottom line. Every project must prioritize people, communities, and our planet.

To do this, we approach with resiliency and sustainability in every project we deliver. We know that immediate impacts are the easiest to avoid, but avoidance of long-term impacts requires deep knowledge of industry. Our environmental and engineering teams work together to look at alternatives to present our clients with novel solutions for the future.

This is why we prioritize duty of care in the earliest stages of project development. We are leaders because it is in the fiber of our company to be unconditionally honest and act in the best interests of our clients and their people. This honesty and sincere concern for people and places, coupled with our exceptionally innovative solutions, help drive deep connections with our clients.

Hatch Tailings Management Solution

Tailings systems present undeniable complexities and risks. Ore grades are continuing to decline as older, higher-grade deposits are being exhausted. These suboptimal grades need significantly larger throughputs at the plant to maintain profitability. So, the cost and technical viability of the tailings solutions increase, too. And recent failures in the industry are pushing for more highly regulated and lower risk methods of managing tailings. We all must do our part to minimize liability and ultimately eliminate the potential for catastrophic impacts to the environment and downstream communities.

We fully recognize these intricate challenges. For mining companies, the utmost diligence and meticulous oversight are imperative, while simultaneously adhering to compliance standards.

We have developed a digital, integrated solution for tailings management that proactively prioritizes and addresses operational complexities and safety concerns. As tailings productions increase and compliance standards become stricter, our software allows our clients to optimize operations and mitigate risks by emphasizing efficiency, safety, and longevity.

We have taken a comprehensive approach that extends beyond conventional tailings storage facility and water management. We have developed a full-service platform that operates holistically and ties back to the tailings management plan in order to proactively mitigate risks at every stage of the life cycle.

A solution built by tailings experts for tailings operators

We do everything with health and safety at the forefront. We focus on serving our clients and the people and communities they serve, meeting them where they are and cultivating meaningful relationships. We do this by being present in our projects, by communicating with stakeholders, by going out into the community, and by being respectful and understanding. When we lead this way, we create projects and work cultures grounded in integrity and in making the world a better place.

Leading the way forward also means looking back to learn from the past. In mining, we partner with our clients for better tailings management, bringing aging sites up to regulatory standards. Engineering and remediation technology has changed dramatically over time. We assess problems, model solutions, and implement remedies that protect people and prevent future issues.

We are uniquely positioned to draw on multiple disciplines for deep, solutions-based thinking. Advanced digital tools and capabilities improve and streamline our environmental services, and they’re shaping the way we protect and reuse our most valuable natural resources. With digital twins emerging as one of our leading technologies in this space, mining projects are entering a new era where changing conditions, water levels, and deformations are tracked, and future disasters can be prevented. With old tailings sites contained and closely monitored, digital tools are pioneering the way forward and remediating the mistakes of the past.

Implementing multidisciplinary tools and strategies hones our expertise and will ultimately knit energy, infrastructure, and mining with a sustainable environment. With energy transformation and digital disruption leading the way, there will inevitably be new ways to bridge the gap. And as our progress in this space rapidly evolves, we must remain steadfast in our guiding principles: health and safety, protecting our land and people, and ethical behavior and design.

It’s important to recognize and nurture the relationship between the needs of people and the well-being of the planet. Rather than creating a dichotomy with industry at one end of the spectrum and the natural world at the other, it’s time to consider them collectively.

The possibilities of past remediation and of what’s possible in the future are keeping us inspired, and we’re bringing this mindset to our clients and projects. We look forward by learning from the past, using digital tools and capabilities in a way that benefits people and the environment, and thinking globally and holistically when working to solve the world’s toughest environmental challenges.

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Projects

Ashbridges Bay Treatment Plant outfall project

The City of Toronto’s Ashbridges Bay Treatment Plant is the largest of four wastewater treatment plants and serves more than 1.7 million residents. The new outfall project, which we managed, involved constructing an onshore shaft approximately 85 m deep with an internal diameter of 14 m, a 7 m internal diameter and 3,500 m long tunnel through bedrock beneath the lakebed, and 50×1 m diameter risers to convey treated effluent into Lake Ontario.

Fargo-Moorhead flood diversion project

The Fargo-Moorhead flood diversion initiative aims to safeguard North Dakota and Minnesota from frequent Red River floods, which have increased in frequency since 1990 and worsened since 2015. As part of a joint venture, we are leading the design of a transformative 30 mile diversion channel project that will route water around the Fargo-Moorhead metro area during flood events.

Project Lucy

Prony Resources is partnering with us on a groundbreaking tailings storage facility for its Lucy nickel laterite operation in New Caledonia to ensure both safety and sustainability in a highly seismic region that experiences heavy rainfall.

Adaptive Phased Management Project

Canada’s Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) is executing a comprehensive plan for safe, long-term nuclear fuel management, involving deep geological repositories and a multi-barrier system, known as the Adaptive Phased Management Project (APM). The project positions Canada as a leader in nuclear waste management, addressing the imperative for secure, long-term storage of intermediate- and high-level nuclear waste.

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