Circular Economy- Mining



Northern Ontario Circular Economy Symposium: Mining Innovation

January 26, 2021 | Peter Xavier

On January 19, 2021 speakers from Canada and abroad came together to speak about current and future opportunities of a circular economy in Northern Ontario. A circular economy refers to a system that reduces waste by reusing material in the creation of new products.

Peter Xavier is the Vice-President of the Glencore Greater Sudbury Operations as well as the Chair of the Ontario Mining Association. His presentation focused on the experience of Glencore in relation to circular economy and green practices. Below are some of the practices undertaken that can be used as examples of how mining can interact in the circular economy and green practices.

  • Contextual factors of where Glencore operations are important when making decisions. The Raglan operation is very remote and runs off diesel generators. Windmills were installed to displace some of that. In Sudbury, that makes less sense, as Glencore would be displacing clean hydro energy.
  • Extracting metals from secondaries (waste from other industries) and putting the metals back into the marketplace.
  • Alongside slag being used in the construction industry, another way Glencore participates in circular economy practices is by providing the sulphuric acid by-product to the agriculture industry and for water treatment systems.
  • Transitioning to the use of battery electric vehicles in Glencore’s underground mines. Such a decision is important because BEVs reduce GHGs as they don’t burn diesel, and they also improve the hygiene underground and with less air they need smaller fans and heating systems.


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