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Lafarge’s green cement helps sustainable mining in Kitimat

Published by , Deputy Editor
World Cement,

As a leader in innovative and sustainable building solutions, Lafarge Canada is making it easier for mining companies to extract material sustainably. A new ultra-low carbon cement, part of their ECOPlanet portfolio, has also shown great success at BC’s Brucejack Mine with over 3000 truckloads delivered to date.

ECOPlanet is the company’s sustainable cement portfolio, providing reductions of CO2 emissions up to 100%. Their use as a partial replacement for portland cement not only results in more durable, high-performance concrete but also lowers energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. “There’s no question that using sustainable materials is the only way to remedy our current climate crisis,” explains Brad Kohl, President & CEO of Lafarge Western Canada. “The ECOPlanet product series has a significant impact on the environment and delivers superior performance in a number of applications, including mining in sensitive regions.”

Since 2017, Lafarge Canada has supplied over 145 000 t of ECOPlanet T90 cement to the Brucejack mine, a high-grade underground gold mine located 65 km north of Stewart. ECOPlanet T90 is a specialised engineered blend of cementitious and other construction materials that allows for a more efficient and cost-effective solution for backfilling underground mines. And Brucejack’s custom T90 blend exceeds the industry average of emissions, with a 90% reduction in CO2 over standard portland cement. “We reduce as much as we possibly can,” says Kohl. “When the opportunity is there, we take it.”

Brucejack Mine is a high-grade underground gold mine located 65 kilometers north of Stewart. Once the tailings are mined and extracted from underground, the onsite batch plant mixes the tailings with Lafarge’s T90, ECOPlanet cement used as paste backfill in the underground voids called stopes. The sustainable properties of ECOPlanet T90 are the primary benefit, but as Kohl explains, “The ECOPlanet T90 actually works with the mine tailings to provide a stronger, more durable fill.” Brucejack realised that ECOPlanet TerraFlow90 improved their fill performance compared to pure portland cement – the reaction of Ecoplant T90 with the sulphide- and sulphate-bearing tailings led to an even stronger product.

“ECOPlanet is proven to work with no compromise on performance,” says Kohl. “We must protect and preserve the environment now, more than ever - and this is a huge step forward in that direction.”

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