Following the 2013 closure of Brunswick Mine, in eastern Canada, Glencore partnered with the local Pabineau First Nation community to increase the Atlantic salmon stock in Little River. This river is downstream from the Brunswick site, which had previously discharged effluent into the waterway since the 1960s. Construction of a modern effluent treatment plant and other enhancements over the years have improved the water quality since that initial period, but the salmon population remained below historical average figures.
Our closure plans for the mine included an adaptive environmental management plan for Little River. One element of the plan is our work with the Pabineau community. This began with the community investigating locations for the work, based on its previous experience with salmon enhancement programmes for other local rivers.
In 2014, 13,000 salmon fry were released from streamside incubation boxes; with a further 50,000 in 2015. In 2016, we plan to release another 50,000 fry.
Initial results show an increase in fish density. We completed a comprehensive aquatic effects monitoring programme in 2015. This was part of a three-year monitoring cycle required by the government department Environment and Climate Change Canada. The partnership has also allowed members of the Pabineau community to develop skills in environmental monitoring; they have demonstrated a strong commitment to rebuilding this resource for the future.