Covia’s Blue Mountain Modernization project draws ever nearer to completion. Watch this short video to see some of the changes to the site. You’ll see how Covia is reducing its environmental footprint and ensuring sustainable production in the region for decades to come.
Building For The Future
A History In Havelock
Canadian Nepheline has been mined in the Havelock area for generations. Nepheline ore was discovered here in the 1890’s, and mining has taken place here for 80 years, with the Nephton mine beginning in 1935 and Blue Mountain in 1955. Covia purchased the site in 1989 and has been a member of the community ever since. We’re proud to be involved in fundraising and donations for local hospitals and amateur sports.
We’re also proud to be considered a cornerstone of business, creating an environmentally conscious, sustainable product that has everyday uses the world over. For generations, we’ve been a part of Havelock’s past, and we look forward to being one of the keys to its future as we grow and evolve our processes and our way of working.
A Premium Canadian Resource
Canadian Nepheline has been prized for its qualities since its discovery, right here in Ontario.
Canadian Nepheline is highly cost effective in production processes, with minimal environmental impact. It’s the sheen that makes products sparkle and sets them apart.
It is an inert igneous rock formed out of molten magma. Similar to granite, Canadian Nepheline is made up of three types of minerals; the microcline form of feldspar, the albite form of feldspar and nepheline.
In glass and ceramics, Canadian Nepheline provides the alkalis that act as a flux. These lower the melting temperature of ceramic mixture and glass, prompting faster melting and fuel saving, as well as reducing emissions associated with climate change.
In glass, Canadian nepheline supplies alumina. This provides the final produce with an enhanced resistance to scratching and breaking. Nepheline has a high strength and excellent weather-resistant properties, which are useful in the construction industry.
Canadian Nepheline also enhances the workability of glass batches by lowering the viscosity. It imparts a unique quality of toughness to the glass, making the glass resistant to breakage.
In paints, Canadian Nepheline reduces the need for volatile organic compounds (VOCs), significantly reducing the environmental impact of paints and increasing the safety of their use.
The increase in demand from major markets such as glass, filters, adhesives and ceramics is expected to increase demand for Canadian Nepheline around that world.
Whether it’s in the tile you’re standing on, the countertop you cook on or the breakfast dishes you used this morning, chances are, there’s Canadian Nepheline in your life every day. In fact, in hundreds of products around you, this inert and sustainably produced product helps add gloss and lustre to paints and bottles, crockery and tile.
Canadian Nepheline, produced here in Ontario, is prized for the qualities that help lower production cost and environmental impact.
In the look it gives the products sold everywhere–from your local market to the tile showrooms of Milan–Canadian Nepheline is a natural product Canadians we are proud to manufacture and share with the world.
For more information go to: www.coviacorp.com
Covia uses a series of dry mechanical processes to mine and manufacture Canadian Nepheline. These processes include crushing, drying, conveying, screening, milling, and classification. No chemicals are used in the process, and Canadian Nepheline itself is inert and non-toxic.
One of the by-products of using these dry mechanical processes is the creation of dust. The drier the conditions – such as very hot, dry summers –can exacerbate the situation.
As our Blue Mountain and Nephton operations are in the midst of prime Kawartha Lakes cottage country, we take the issue very seriously.
The management and staff at Blue Mountain and Nephton have taken extraordinary steps to manage this dust—steps that go well beyond the best practices of our industry.
Covia has invested $1.5 million in tailings dust control measures since 2012, including water cannons, re-vegetation and the installation of rock armour. Blue Mountain also has contingency plans, where gravel or calcium chloride can be immediately applied to any areas that exhibit liftoff.
Blue Mountain utilizes three primary methods to control dust lift-off
- Vegetation – Buckwheat
- Irrigation – Large Water Cannons
- Encapsulation – Rock Armour & Gravel
100 percent of the area is covered by these methods
Tailings from the production of Canadian Nepheline are unlike the tailings found in most mining operations in the world. They are inert and non-toxic. In fact, the tailings provide a natural base to grow and support vegetation.
Crushed rock that is not sold as product can be commingled with waste rock but it is usually placed in tailings storage areas.
Mineral by-products, also known as tailings, are mixed with water and pumped tailings pond where it settles.
Clean decanted water is discharged to the environment as per our ECA.
Covia designed a tailings system that is functional, technically sound and with an environmental footprint that is as small as possible. Covia secured approval for this new tailings design from appropriate agencies, and the first stages have now been initiated.
In recent years. Covia has improved noise abatement measures, including investing in 14 new silencers at the facilities, replacing older units and installing in new fans.
In addition, Covia has also added numerous silencers to fans and eliminated tonal backup alarms from mobile equipment.
We continue to work with Kasshabog Lake residents to identify and reduce specific noise sources.
Managing Our Future
As part of our ongoing commitment to environmental and economic sustainability, Covia is currently in the evaluation stage of developing a modernization plan for its Canadian Nepheline operations. If approved, modernization would be complete in four to six years and the company’s operations at Nephton would cease.