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Climate risks assessment of
Mining Operations
ArcelorMittal Mining - Canada

Client: ArcelorMittal Mining (Canada)

Project Date: 2021-2024

Project Role: Project Manager; Researcher; Subject Matter Expert

The Phase 1A study was conducted to evaluate the climate risks (current and future) of ArcelorMittal Mining Canada G.P. (hereafter AMMC) asset portfolio in Quebec. The work was performed in close collaboration with AMMC staff in design and operations, and their knowledge and input at all stages for this CRA forms the basis of the risk analysis and recommendations for adaptation.

The methodology used for this climate risks assessment (CRA) conforms to industry standards, namely the International Standards for Organizations (ISO) standards ISO 31000:2018 Risk Management, ISO 14090:2019 Adaptation to climate change – Principles, requirements and guidelines, and ISO 14091:2021 Adaptation to climate change – Guidelines on vulnerability, impacts and risk assessment. The process also aligns with the PIEVC Protocol and the PIEVC Large Portfolio Assessment Manual. The asset considered in the assessment included:

  • Two mining sites (open pit mines, roads and drainage, buildings, telecommunications and energy networks, wastewater collection and treatment)

  • Rail (500+ kilometres of tracks, 20 bridges and 5 tunnels

  • Port (buildings, wharves, loading and unloading assets, fuel storage, roads and drainage, sub-station and electricity distribution)

  • Pellet plant and associated infrastructure (building, conveyance systems, wastewater management system)

Due to the large number of assets to consider in the CRA, archetypes were defined for assets and components. These included, for example, buildings with similar construction attributes (age, function, type of structure) were grouped and broken down into Uniformat II – Level 2 components; the rail segmentation defined by the operations division of AMMC was overlaid by climate and topography to consolidate assets in the portfolio analysis. However, if during the vulnerability assessment,  an asset was identified as particularly sensitive to a climate hazard, it was pulled out of the group for an individual assessment.

Climate parameters were defined based on design, operations and past events that have caused damages or disruptions. A climate (current and future) profile was developed for each of the three main locations: south (plant and port), north (mining operations) and north-south for the railway system. Climate hazards (intensity and frequency thresholds) were specific to the assets located in these locations.

The performance criteria (impact rating) used in the CRA was derived from the corporation’s enterprise risk management system (ERM) to ensure the climate risks could seamlessly be incorporated into the decision-making process. A high-level assessment of consequences, including health and safety, environmental and financial impacts allowed to identify adaptation measures for the highest risks. Phase 2 of the project currently underway is to cost specific risk mitigation and adaptation measures to reduce corporate legal and financial exposure.

Phase 1B consisted at assessing the climate risks post-closure (2050 to end of century) based on the operational plans of ArcerlorMittal. This assessment included evaluating climate hazards’ projections for caping solid waste and tailing facilities, drainage, and vegetation.

Finally, Phase 3 (underway) consists at assessing climate impacts on the biodiversity at the AMMC locations. Based on a detailed inventory of species and habitats (equivalent to a portfolio of assets) in the areas of operations of AMMC, a grouping by key families (land, aquatic and birds) is being done to identify the relevant climate hazards to consider. The project will also include consultations with Innu community members.

The work was performed in English and French

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