Water management

Horne Smelter has five mine tailings sites that are either operating (active) or closed (inactive):

  • Noranda 3
  • Noranda 4
  • Noranda 5
  • Quémont 2
  • Waite Amulet

What is a mine tailings site?

A mine tailings site includes all the equipment, engineering structures, and components that are pooled to manage the solid mine tailings and the water in these tailings.

Tailings site operations

Two sites are currently used for tailings deposition: the Quémont 2 site and the Noranda 5 site. The Quémont 2 site is on the verge of reaching its maximum capacity. As a result, Horne Smelter has begun the two-phase reactivation of its Noranda 5 mine tailings site. 

The first phase, consisting of the transfer of water from Quémont 2 to Noranda 5, was completed in 2013. The second phase involves the final transfer of Quémont 2 to Noranda 5, slated for 2022. Dikes will be raised over the next few years to bring the Noranda 5 site to its expected end of life around 2036.

The Quémont 2 tailings site is currently used from 5 to 7 months of the year to store tailings from Horne Smelter operations. Noranda 5 is used the rest of the time. The tailings are transported from Horne Smelter plant to these two tailings sites using high-density polyethylene (HDPE) pipes.

Control measures

In the interest of health and safety of our employees and the community, controls are in place at Horne Smelter to ensure proper management and maintenance of the tailings sites:

  • Inspection program, including annual inspection by the consultant and designer
  • Monitoring via geotechnical instrumentation
  • Implementation of contingency plans and frequent testing
  • Internal and external audits (DSR) and other audits