Xstrata Copper

Xstrata Copper

October 08, 2010 10:18 ET

Xstrata Copper: Demolition and Rehabilitation Officially Completed at Murdochville and Sandy Beach

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 8, 2010) - Xstrata Copper is pleased to announce that it has now completed all of the reclamation and rehabilitation work following the closure of the Gaspé Smelter in Murdochville, Quebec. The Murdochville mining and metallurgical site and the Sandy Beach facilities are now officially closed and rehabilitated, after the implementation of an extensive plan to rehabilitate the former metallurgical site and nearby properties in Murdochville and in the Sandy Beach region surrounding the port of Gaspé.

The work took five years and called for a total investment of approximately 130 million dollars. Everything was done in compliance with Xstrata Copper's Sustainable Development Standards and Policy, which cover the environment, health and safety, and community relations. According to Jacques Moulins, General Manager, Environment & Rehabilitated Mine Sites for Xstrata Copper Canada: "We are proud of what we have achieved in Murdochville, especially the quality of the work done, our health and safety performance and our transparent relationship with the community. We have achieved our objective of returning to local stakeholders a healthy environment for which they can actively pursue other avenues of development."

The soil rehabilitation program targeted surface soils in Murdochville and Sandy Beach that were affected by former metallurgical and logistical operations. The demolition of plant buildings required careful planning to make the most of equipment resale and recycling opportunities. Any remaining dams have been reinforced and reconfigured to withstand peak meteorological events. A new, higher performance, less energy-intensive water treatment facility has also been built. As well, sites with topsoil have been reseeded to encourage new vegetation.

To further benefit the community, regional contractors were given preference throughout the project. At the height of the program, more than 250 workers from various businesses were employed on the project. Xstrata Copper's emphasis on health and safety led to impressive results. There were no lost-time injuries throughout the entire project.

Although the site is closed, it will be supervised on a full-time basis by an Xstrata Copper Canada employee who will be responsible for the inspection of the dams and for making sure that water treatment equipment is operating properly.

According to Claude Ferron, Chief Operating Officer of Xstrata Copper Canada, "A page of history is being turned for the citizens of Murdochville and the Xstrata Copper Canada employees who made the operations a success for over fifty years."


Xstrata is a global diversified mining group, headquartered in Zug, Switzerland, and listed on the London and Swiss stock markets. It has a meaningful position in seven major international commodity markets: copper, coking coal, thermal coal, ferrochrome, nickel, vanadium and zinc, with a growing platinum group metals business, additional exposures to gold, cobalt, lead and silver, recycling facilities and a suite of global technology products, many of which are industry leaders. The Group's operations and projects span 19 countries.


Xstrata Copper is the world's fourth largest copper producer. In 2009, its attributable mined production of copper contained in cathodes and concentrates reached 907,000 tonnes. It is also one of the world's largest producers of smelter and refined copper, including from third-party materials.

Headquartered in Brisbane, Australia, Xstrata Copper is one of the commodity business units within the major global diversified mining group, Xstrata plc. Its mining and metallurgical operations and development projects span eight countries: Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, Papua Nueva Guinea, Peru, the Philippines and the United States. Its operations and projects are administered through a regional divisional management structure, which ensures that critical decisions are taken close to the related businesses. Xstrata Copper also has a recycling business (Xstrata Recycling) with plants in the United States and offices in Canada and Asia.

Contact Information

  • Xstrata Copper Canada
    Louis-Philippe Gariépy
    Director, Corporate Affaires
    514-645-2311 ext. 2162