October 2017: What's Happening at Giant?
Annual update to the YKDFN Chiefs and Council
Community engagement is an important part of the Giant Mine Remediation Project. On August 15, 2017 the Giant Mine Remediation Project Team, led by Deputy Director (Region) Natalie Plato and Director (Ottawa) Craig Wells, presented a project status update to the Yellowknives Dene First Nations Chief and Council. Chief and Council were able to voice their questions and concerns in discussion with the Project Directors.
New Mine Manager
The Deton’Cho/Nuna Joint Venture annouced the appoinment of Doug Hayes as the new Mine Manager at the Giant Mine site. Doug has worked as Assistant Mine Manager at Giant Mine since 2015, and previously as a summer student when the mine was operating, in 1975 and 1976.
Orginally from Prince Edward Island, Doug spent 21 years working in Ghana, West Africa before joining the Giant Mine team in Yellowknife.
As Mine Manager, Doug is responsible for the care, maintenance, and security of the Giant Mine site. This includes the health and safety of all people working on and visiting Giant Mine, as well as being responsible for the work to maintain mine access, buildings, and roads on site.
UBC Bridge Repairs
The Project team applied for a Water Licence and a Land Use Permit in order to conduct repairs on the Under Baker Creek (UBC) Bridge. While the superstructure and decking of the bridge remain in good condition, the abutments at both ends have shifted off their foundation and require repair.
The bridge is a critical piece of infrastructure for care and maintenance activities, as well as for future remedial activities. It provides a shortcut through the site that reduces travel time for the Project team, workers, and heavy machinery to reach the underground. The bridge repair work is planned for the winter of 2017/2018, during frozen conditions. No in-stream work is necessary to complete the bridge repairs.
Health Effects Monitoring Program Recruitment
The Health Effects Monitoring Program is currently recruiting participants, who will provide samples to determine their current exposure to arsenic and other contaminants. Invitations to participate in the Program were mailed to Yellowknife households, chosen by statistically-based random selection. Additional efforts are underway to identify members of the Yellowknives Dene First Nation and the North Slave Métis Alliance as participants. We welcome interested parties to contact the Program staff directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Participants will receive their individual results in the spring.
The Program will endeavor to sample 2,000 participants over two years. Though households were selected randomly to be statistically representative of the community, we encourage anyone with an interest in, or concerns about, arsenic exposure to volunteer as a participant.
For more information about the Health Effects Monitoring Program, please visit www.ykhemp.ca.
Giant Mine Who’s Who
The Giant Mine Remediation Project is complex and involves several different government departments, public organizations, committee, and oversight bodies. The different parties involved often overlap and it can be difficult to separate who exactly is who.
The Project Team
The Giant Mine Remediation Project team (the Project team) manages the long-term care and remediation of Giant Mine. The team is made up of:
- Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC)
- Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT)
- Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC)
The Giant Mine Working Group
The Giant Mine Working Group makes recommendations to the Project team about technical and operational aspects of the remediation plan. The Working Group meets monthly and its members are from:
- Giant Mine Oversight Board (GMOB)
- Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC)
- Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO)
- Yellowknives Dene First Nation (YKDFN)
- North Slave Métis Alliance (NSMA)
- Health Canada
- City of Yellowknife
- Alternatives North
The Giant Mine Advisory Committee
The Giant Mine Advisory Committee represents the interests of YKDFN in the remediation process. The Committee helps connect the Project team to the YKDFN, to obtain traditional knowledge and input on the design of the remediation plan.
The Giant Mine Oversight Board
The Giant Mine Oversight Board (GMOB) is an independent group that monitors, promotes, advises and broadly advocates for the responsible management of the remediation of the Giant Mine site. It also manages a research program focused on finding a permanent resolution for the management and disposal of the arsenic trioxide stored underground at the Giant Mine site.
GMOB is made up of six appointees selected from the following groups:
- Government of Canada
- Alternatives North
- City of Yellowknife
For additional information, visit the GMOB website.
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