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Rio awarded for Canada clean-up project


Rio Tinto’s Iron Ore Company of Canada (IOC) has been recognised for its contributions to an abandoned site rehabilitation partnership at the Towards Sustainable Mining Awards.

The major was honoured with the Environmental Excellence Award for its partnership in the Nitassinan Cleanup project, which focused on the remediation of legacy dumpsites within Nitassinan, Canada.

The collaborative initiative was undertaken in partnership with the First Nations of Quebec and Labrador Sustainable Development Institute (FNQLSDI).

Nitassinan is the ancestral territory of Innu Nation of Uashat Mak Mani-Utenam, which are represented by the FNQLSDI.

Though the dumpsites were not the result of IOC activities, the goal was to restore the land to its original state in order to build lasting relationships with local communities and protect the environment.

“We are honoured to receive this award, which underscores our unwavering commitment to environmental responsibility and collaborative community engagement,” IOC president and chief executive officer Mike McCann said.

“Our collaboration with FNQLSDI and the Uashat Mak Mani-Utenam community demonstrates our dedication to reclaiming land responsibly while nurturing lasting relationships and creating real impact.”

Rio said the initiative enhanced IOC’s understanding of Innu land use and traditional knowledge while cultivating connections and deepening relationships with diverse communities.

Building robust collaborative relationships beyond IOC’s usual operations is vital for fostering trust and supporting local communities, a principle Rio Tinto advocates for across the mining industry.

“We are pleased that this initiative can serve as an inspiration in terms of environmental responsibility and collaboration with First Nations,” FNQLSDI general director Alain Bédard said.

“This project could not have had the impacts it did without the participation of IOC and the members of the Uashat Mak Mani-Utenam community.

“We hope that the success of this project will serve as an example to others.”

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