Mining Emissions

Vale celebrates completion of $1B Clean AER project

SUDBURY, Ont. – On Sept. 14 Vale held a special celebration in this mining town to mark the end of its Clean AER (atmospheric emission reduction) project. The $1-billion undertaking was the largest single environmental investment in the town’s history.

Vale’s base metals division is headquartered in Sudbury, Ont. 

Clean AER achieved an 85% reduction in previous sulphur dioxide emissions and a 40% reduction in metal particulate emissions.

Work began in 2012 and proceeded safely without the need to shut down the Copper Cliff smelter. Two new converters, a wet gas cleaning plant, a new secondary baghouse-fan building were constructed. The smelter converter flues were also rebuilt.

Part of the work involved removing the steel liner of the iconic, energy-gobbling Superstack and taking it out of service. The concrete shell will be removed over the next several years. Two new 137-metre stacks are being built at the smelter. The new stacks will cut greenhouse gas emissions and be less energy intensive as well.

Not only has Clean AER have a positive environmental impact, it has also generated welcome economic impact with local suppliers and the community. Approximately 550 construction jobs were generated while the project was underway.

Vale is one of the world’s largest mining companies with operations across five continents. For more information, please visit