Sources of pollution: metals and mineral processing
Environment Canada works to address the environmental impacts of metals and mineral processing. The main processing phases are separation of valuable minerals from unwanted minerals, recovery of valuable minerals from the ore, and metals production and refining. Most of the emissions from processing are to air, but some are also to water and land.
Canada’s provinces have primary jurisdiction over metals and mineral processing. The main federal law that applies to processing is the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA 1999). Canada’s Minister of the Environment is responsible for CEPA 1999, and other relevant laws that may impact processing activities, such as the International River Improvements Act, the Migratory Birds Convention Act, the Species at Risk Act, and the Fisheries Act.
The following sectors do processing activities:
- Aluminium and Alumina
- Base Metals Smelters and Refineries and Zinc Plants
- Iron and Steel
- Iron Ore Pelletizing
- Environment Canada has now published the Code of Practice for the Management of PM2.5 Emissions in the Potash Sector.
- The Code of Practice was developed by Environment Canada in consultation with potash industry representatives and other stakeholders. The Code of Practice recommends best practices to control and limit emissions of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) from activities related to the potash sector, including drying, compacting and material handling.
- Environment Canada’s National Pollutant Release Inventory, which contains a summary of emissions from Canadian metals and mineral processing activities
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