February 2017: What's Happening at Giant?

Giant Mine Community Forum

Interested in learning more about the Giant Mine Remediation Project? The Project Team will be holding a community forum in March in Yellowknife.

Yellowknife Public Forum

Date: Thursday, March 2, 2017
Time: 7:00–9:00 p.m.
Location: Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre Café, Yellowknife

Work continues at Giant Mine to protect the health and safety of northerners, and to reduce potential risks to the environment. At these forums, team members will present on a variety of aspects surrounding the project.

Topics will include the continuing work to stabilize the underground and conduct environmental monitoring, as well as the work to design and implement health-related studies to make sure remediation activities will not have a negative impact on people’s health.

The Project Team will host a similar forum to engage with Yellowknives Dene First Nation members in Dettah on March 1 at 6pm at Chief Drygeese Conference Centre.

This picture shows a group of approximately 60 members of the Yellowknives Dene First Nation watching a presentation on the Giant Mine Remediation Project in the background.  In the foreground, the Yellowknives Dene First Nation logo printed on the floor of the room. The logo shows a caribou over fire and logs in a circle bearing the words "Yellowknives Dene First Nation". Underneath the circle is a yellow knife, and an arrow head points in each of the four directions.

Caption: Last year’s forum with the Yellowknives Dene First Nation members in Chief Drygeese Conference Centre.

Outfall update

The construction of a new effluent treatment plant will be part of the final remediation plan for Giant Mine. The first stage of this work was to select a location for the Outfall—where the treated water will be released into Great Slave Lake.

The process to determine the outfall location included consultations with the Giant Mine Working Group, the Yellowknives Dene First Nation, and the Giant Mine Advisory Committee. Based on input from the consultation sessions, four locations were considered and assessed by the project team. The Project Team then chose an area in the vicinity of Baker Creek outlet for the new Outfall. This was also the location preferred by the Yellowknives Dene First Nation and the Giant Mine Advisory Committee. However, further work is required to identify the exact location of the Outfall; this should be completed by December 2017.

This picture  shows a typical outfall as well as a channel of water framed by grasses and brush in the foreground, with a rock outcrop in the background.  A typical outfall consists of an outlet where water from the water treatment plant will be released through a pipe below or, as shown in this picture, above the ground. An outfall can release water either above or below the water line.

Caption: Above shows a picture of what a typical outfall may look like. A typical outfall consists of an outlet where water from the water treatment plant will be released through a pipe above or below the ground. It can release water either above or below the water line.

Main Construction Manager RFP issued

The awarding of the Main Construction Manager (MCM) contract will be an important milestone for the Giant Mine Remediation Project.

Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC), on behalf of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC), is conducting a two-phase Request for Proposals process for the Main Construction Manager requirement at Giant Mine. It is among the largest-ever procurement efforts for INAC, worth between $600-900 million, and expected to be in place for approximately 10 years.

PSPC ensures all contractual opportunities are managed through an open, accessible and well-understood process so Canadians receive the best value for the money spent on their behalf. Bidders who fulfill the requirements of the first phase of the RFP will be considered for the second phase.

The MCM will provide advice and develop remediation activities into work packages. Care and maintenance may be one of the work packages developed by the MCM. They can also advise on scheduling, sequencing and feasibility of various components of the remediation plan.

During full remediation, the MCM will be responsible for bundling and tendering work packages. The MCM is required to assess local and Aboriginal capacity, then demonstrate they have taken this into consideration when developing the work packages to be competitively tendered. This will be outlined in an Aboriginal Business Plan. In addition, an Aboriginal Business Advisory Panel will be formed to review the MCM work package Aboriginal achievements and work with the project team to provide input on how aboriginal commitments can be met. It is expected full remediation will begin sometime between 2020 and 2022.

Currently, Parsons Canada Ltd. is the Interim Construction Manager, while the Det’on Cho Nuna Joint Venture holds the contract for care and maintenance services at Giant Mine. These contracts will overlap with the new MCM contract to ensure a smooth transition and ongoing monitoring and maintenance at the site, until the MCM fully takes over responsibilities at the site.

The RFP was issued on January 25, 2017 and the anticipated award date for the MCM contract is December 2017.

C5-09 stope stabilization plan

This summer, work is anticipated to begin backfilling the last remaining stope complex as part of the underground component of the site stabilization plan. The C5-09 stope complex is one of the largest and most complex of the mine’s underground voids.

Similar to the previous stopes that have been backfilled as part of the site stabilization plan, the C5-09 stope complex is anticipated to be filled with paste, a product made of a mixture of Giant Mine tailings, water, binder (cement), fly-ash, and possibly some inert rock material.

This picture shows fingertips holding a 1:1000 scale replica of the C5-09 stope complex, printed in 3D from plastic in the uneven shape of the complex.

Caption: A 1:1000 scale replica of the C5-09 stope complex.

Surface design engagement complete

The Giant Mine Remediation Project Team continues to consider issues about how the site will look and function when remediation is complete and develop the full remediation plan for the site.

Surface design engagement (SDE) sessions held between May 2015 and February 2016, as well as the additional input received throughout the engagement process have helped evaluate remediation options for the different components of the former mine (pits, tailings, soils and Baker Creek). They have also helped the Project Team consider questions about potential future uses of the site.

On February 15th, 2017 the project held a final SDE session to report back to stakeholders on results from the SDE process. Some key decisions made by the project based on input from SDE were presented and include the alignment of Baker Creek onsite, filling the pits and a rock cover for the tailings. Outstanding decisions include what material to fill the pits with and how to remediate soils from a historic tailings dam spill.

The process allowed participants to provide direct input into the many interconnected decisions required to plan for the future of the site after remediation. The final report on the surface design engagement summarizes feedback from workshops held between May 2015 and February 2016, as well as all the additional input received throughout the engagement process.

The final design decisions will be presented in the Closure and Reclamation Plan. This will be the main document submitted in the regulatory process and will document the objectives and updated remediation plan. A first draft is expected by 2018. Engagement on the Closure and Reclamation Plan will continue throughout 2017 and 2018.

A group of people seated at tables listen and look at a presentation projected on a screen as a consultant stands in front of them to deliver presentation on the Surface Design Engagement report.

Caption: Participants listen as a consultant reports back to stakeholders on results from the SDE process.

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