Ongoing site management at Giant Mine
The Project team keeps Giant Mine stable and manages risks during the process to update the closure and reclamation plan.
Managing the site until remediation
Keeping the site safe and stable until remediation begins is a top priority for the Project team. For the site, this includes:
- managing risks
- providing care and maintenance
- treating water
- monitoring the environment
- suppressing dust
- planning for emergencies
Safety is our first priority at Giant Mine. The NWT Mine Safety Inspector regularly inspects the site to observe the working conditions on the surface and underground. Mine workers are well-trained in mine safety measures. They often have years of experience working in the mining industry. They take every precaution during their shifts and understand of the risks they face.
Security personnel are present 24 hours a day, throughout the year, to ensure the public does not go on the site. Even though much of the site is not active, it is very important that the public does not enter into fenced or signed areas as there are still unseen hazards and the potential for accidents or injuries as a result of former mine operations.
The Project team's site stabilization plan addresses how to deal with urgent risks that develop at site. For example, infrastructure and underground workings are more than 60 years old. If these were not managed, they could pose serious health and safety risks to workers, the public, and the environment. The team regularly assesses the site and acts promptly to reduce risks.
The Project team works with regulators to make sure all work to keep the site stable meets regulatory conditions. Regulators include:
- the Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board
- the City of Yellowknife
- the Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact Review Board.
The Project team also works with the parties to the Environmental Agreement to ensure they receive information about all safety-related work prior to remediation.
Addressing high risks on the site includes assessing structures on a regular basis. If necessary, teams will demolish structures or restrict access to them. As well, the team has backfilled areas of the underground to keep the ground stable. The team has one more stope complex, called C5-09, left to fill to keep the site stable until final remediation can begin.
Completed stabilization work to date:
- deconstructed and removed the A-Shaft headframe, assay lab, and former curling club
- deconstructed and removed the roaster complex
- conducted an engineering review of underground workings
- reviewed risks if there was underground flooding by Baker Creek
- secured cladding on a number of buildings
- demolished and removed a section of the mill conveyor gallery
- conducted investigative drilling to inform how to make the underground more stable
- deconstructed the C-shaft headframe
- increased bank height along Baker Creek
- finalized work on Jo-Jo Lake historic tailings
- stabilized portions of the B1 Pit wall
- C1 buttress
For more information, contact the Project Office at (867) 669-2426 or visit the Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board's public registry.
Additional details about risks addressed to date are available here.
Regular Care and Maintenance
Until remediation can begin, the team hired a contractor to secure the site. The contractor is currently Deton'Cho/Nuna Logistics Joint Venture. Since 2005, this company has been awarded four multi-year contracts in a row. These were all awarded through competitive processes. Public Services and Procurement Canada conducts these processes for the Government of Canada.
- ensures the mine complies with environmental regulations
- maintains site security and public safety
- maintains facilities
- manages mine water
- treats effluent
- monitors the site
As part of its contracts with the Project, Deton'Cho/Nuna Joint Venture is encouraged to maximize Indigenous employment, sub-contracting, and on-the-job training opportunities, with the expectation that it will involve local, regional, and Indigenous citizens and businesses in its proposals.
Another contractor, Parsons Canada Ltd, was hired as an interim construction manager. Parsons carries out upgrades and repairs to keep the site safe until remediation can go forward. Work under this contract has included:
- upgrading the effluent treatment plant
- taking out old electrical infrastructure
- investigative drilling
- constructing a storage facility
- stabilizing parts of Baker Creek
A main construction manager tender was posted in spring 2017. Once awarded, the main construction manager will replace the interim construction manager. It will carry out work, including procurement, to ensure site safety during the remediation.
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