Communicating in the Event of an Emergency

The Giant Mine site consists of abandoned and aging infrastructure that poses risks to workers, the public and the environment. These hazards are constantly being assessed and addressed. For example, in addition to annual care and maintenance activities, work is underway to stabilize the site and reduce risks from the roaster complex and sections of the underground until full remediation can begin.

However, should an incident occur that impacts the public and/or the environment, emergency response plans and capabilities are in place. In addition, crews conduct emergency drills and simulations to ensure they are prepared in the event of an emergency.

In the event of an incident, including a worst-case scenario, such as the collapse of one of the roaster buildings causing the release of contaminants into the air, the following would occur in a timely fashion and often concurrently:

  • Responsible on-site contractor enacts its appropriate emergency response plan, while taking steps to protect people and the environment and contain the incident
  • On-site contractor requests assistance from external emergency responders if required (e.g. City of Yellowknife Fire Division or RCMP).
  • On-site contractor informs appropriate regulators and/or inspectors (e.g. NWT Spill Line, Mine Inspector, etc.).
  • On-site contractor informs Project Team, specifically the Operations Manager and appropriate Project Manager.
  • Operations Manager convenes Project Team's Crisis Communications Response Team (CCRT), which is made up of members of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, Public Works and Government Services Canada and the Government of the Northwest Territories.
  • If required, CCRT requests support from the City of Yellowknife or other organizations to share information to the public, specifically in cases where those organizations are involved.
  • CCRT gathers information and disseminates it internally and externally. This includes interested stakeholders (such as the City of Yellowknife and the Yellowknives Dene First Nation) and the media through phone calls and/or emails.
  • CCRT conducts media interviews and/or briefings.
  • CCRT continues to inform stakeholders and media.

If an incident occurs that impacts the public and/or the environment, residents will be notified via:

  • Local media
  • this website
  • Project Team's e-newsletter distribution list
  • City of Yellowknife communications network if required
  • Direct warnings from external emergency responders (i.e. RCMP or City of Yellowknife Fire Department) if required

Information shared via the above methods could include the following:

  • an explanation of the extent of the emergency;
  • protection measures being implemented;
  • the status of the emergency response and the actions being taken to resolve the situation
  • actions public should take to stay safe;
  • steps taken to address concerns;
  • steps to be taken to prevent similar emergencies in the future; and
  • contact details for sources of additional information.

The Project Team would maintain the lead on all communications activities. The City of Yellowknife could assist in getting information out to the public through the communications network it has established, if required.

In the unlikely event of significant event that posed risk to the public (i.e. toxic release) coming from the mine site, residents should:

  • listen for specific information relayed via radio (e.g. public service announcements) or authorities (RCMP, City of Yellowknife Fire Division, etc.).
  • follow specific actions as instructed by authorities. These could include measures such as to stay indoors, shut doors and windows, etc.
  • stay tuned to local radio and check the Giant Mine website for regular updates and any further instructions.

You can also contact the Project Team via email or by phone at 867-669-2462.

Emergency Communications Infographic

Emergency Communications Infographic

Stakehloders include: City of Yellowknife, Yellowknives Dene First Nation, Tlicho Government, Dene Nation, Lutsel'Ke Dene First Nation, NGiant Mine Community Alliance, orth Slave Métis Alliance, Alternatives North, Ecology North)