Xstrata Copper in Timmins extends support for sturgeon restoration biodiversity initiative

This article was provided by the Ontario Mining Association (OMA), an organization that was established in 1920 to represent the mining industry of the province.

Ontario Mining Association member Xstrata Copper’s Kidd Operations in Timmins has committed $21,000 to the Wintergreen Fund in support of the Mattagami River Sturgeon Restoration Project. “We are committed to supporting sustainable environmental projects, such as this one, that address identified needs and bring together community partners with common goals,” said Tom Semadeni, General Manager of Xstrata Copper’s Kidd Operations.

This contribution extends Kidd Operations support of the sturgeon initiative through to 2014. The funding will be used to acquire stationary monitors, nets, transmitters and other fish monitoring equipment. Along with the financial support, Kidd Operations will continue to provide in-kind donations of helicopter and personnel time for sturgeon habitat mapping and monitoring.

The Mattagami River Sturgeon Restoration Project began in 2002 in efforts to re-establish Lake Sturgeon in the local watershed. A once large population of Lake Sturgeon had been reduced significantly due to overfishing, log drives, habitat fragmentation caused by the construction of hydro-electric dams and to a lesser degree pollution. This project’s efforts have provided valuable data on the size and location of the fish population, where they gather to breed and how the river environment can be improved to encourage reproduction.

Lake Sturgeon are descendants of a prehistoric fish going back to the Mesozoic Era (dinosaur age). The fish appear to be much the same today as 100-million-year-old fossils, which have been found. The Mattagami River flows north through Timmins into the James Bay drainage basin, which is part of the Lake Sturgeon habitat.

“Ontario has designated the Lake Sturgeon as a species of special concern and this restoration project is extremely important to sustaining the unique biodiversity of our region,” said Mr. Semadeni. “Our involvement with this project began in 2011 when we provided funding and personnel to support a follow-up fish transfer and monitoring program and we are delighted to be extending our association for a further two years.”

The Wintergreen Fund is a group of local citizens in Timmins dedicated to conservation and protection of the environment. It has contributed to community trails systems, conservation education and the general “greening” of the community.

Xstrata Copper is the fourth largest copper producer in the world. Its products are used extensively in electronic, consumer and building products. Copper is a highly recycled material and with its use in new green technologies, it is playing a vital role in building a sustainable future. It has operations and projects in eight countries employing 20,000 people.

Xstrata Copper Canada’s Kidd Operations in Timmins produce copper and zinc concentrates. The site employs approximately 1,400 people including contractors. This mine, which started operations through predecessor companies in 1965, is the deepest base metal mine in the world.

Since 2007, Kidd Operations’ Community Partnership Program has provided $100,000 in support of local environmental projects and initiatives. Mining companies are responsible, solution-providing partners in society. They do more than find, extract and process minerals essential to our modern lifestyle. They volunteer and add great value to the quality of life in their communities and beyond.

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