During 2010, Glencore Copper completed the reclamation and rehabilitation work following the closure of the Gaspé Smelter in Murdochville, Quebec. This marks the culmination of a five-year effort to rehabilitate the former mining and metallurgical site and nearby properties in Murdochville and the Sandy Beach region surrounding the port of Gaspé. Our total investment to implement the reclamation plan was approximately CAD130 million.
The soil rehabilitation programme targeted surface soils in Murdochville and Sandy Beach that were impacted by 50 years of metallurgical and logistical operations. The demolition of plant buildings required careful planning to make the most of equipment resale and recycling opportunities. Contractors from the surrounding area were given preference in bidding for the necessary work throughout the project, accommodating up to 250 workers at peak employment. The project's safety record is impressive: there were no lost-time injuries during the rehabilitation project.
The remaining tailings dams at the site have been reinforced and reconfigured to withstand peak meteorological events, and a new, less energy-intensive water treatment facility has been built. A full-time Glencore Copper employee remains on site and is responsible for inspecting the dams and ensuring the water treatment facility is functioning properly.