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Adapting to Climate Change – Lexpert

Mining companies are starting to learn that climate change will undermine their own operations. Many are working now to save themselves from enormous future costs.

COMPANIES WORLDWIDE ARE HAVING to change the way they do business in order to mitigate the effects of climate change on their operations. The mining industry in this country is a prime example. In Canada’s far north, says Dennis Mahony, a partner at Torys LLP in Toronto, mines are already having to adapt to the effects of climate change on their infrastructure.

“Look at what’s happening with what we once called ‘permafrost,’” says Mahony, co-chair of the firm’s interdisciplinary climate change and emissions trading practice. “There is an awful lot of waste rock contained in frozen tailings dams in the far north. Melting ground threatens the stability of those storage structures, and it increases the likelihood that acid and heavy metals from the waste will leak into the surrounding soil and water, causing major ecological damage.”

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