January/February 2019: What's Happening at Giant?

Table of contents

Upcoming - Giant Mine Public Forum

This picture shows people sitting at tables facing a presentation screen.  The words "Moving Towards Remediation" are visible on the screen.  A woman stands at a podium, facing the crowd as she presents.
Deputy Director Natalie Plato speaks to the attendees at last year’s public forum.

The Giant Mine Remediation Project team's annual public forum is set for March! The Project team is moving forward to formally submit the Closure and Reclamation Plan as part of their Type A Water Licence application. This forum represents another opportunity to engage with the Project team, find out about work on the site in the past year and plans going forward, and learn about the Water Licence application process. We hope to see you there!

Public Forum

Date: Thursday, March 7, 2019
Time: 7:00–9:00 p.m.
Location: Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre Café, Yellowknife
Refreshments will be provided.

Engagement Update

On January 21, the Giant Mine Remediation Project's Deputy Director, Natalie Plato, was invited to present an update on the Project to Yellowknife's new City Council. She was joined by Engagement Manager, Aaron Braumberger. The presentation briefly covered the history of the mine, then discussed how the Project team is planning to clean up the site. It also touched on the Project's socio-economic approach and how the team is working to update this approach to address feedback from the industry and community members, such as by incorporating Key Performance Indicators into reporting. City Council has made the presentation deck available on their website.

The Project team also met with Yellowknives Dene First Nation Chiefs and Council on February 5 for their annual update. This meeting included a Project update and brief overview of the Closure and Reclamation Plan, an update on how the Project team engaged with their membership over the year, and an update on socio-economic initiatives and contracting with their communities' development corporation. This also gave Chiefs and Councilors an opportunity to ask questions about the Project and to continue to work together toward remediation.

Ensuring More Time to Review the Water Licence Package

Since 2014, the Project team has worked toward resubmitting its application to the Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board. The Closure and Reclamation Plan was provided to stakeholders for review in 2018 as a draft, and the team has been working hard to address comments and finalize the application package.

We have heard concerns about the amount of time required to properly review the finalized documents within the legislated timelines of the regulatory process. To help relieve some of the time pressure, the Project will finalize the application package in mid-February, but will not submit the Water Licence application to the board until April 1. The package will be provided to the Affected Parties and to any other parties who are interested in reviewing it in mid-February. This will allow approximately an additional six weeks to review the documents before the regulatory process formally kicks off. The Project team will not make any changes to those documents during this period.

The package will be available electronically starting on February 14; please contact the project team by email at aadnc.giantmine.aandc@canada.ca or by calling (867) 669-2426.

Impacts on Leases with the Remediation Project Boundary

As part of finalizing the Closure and Reclamation Plan, the Project team has begun to identify how and when work will be completed. This includes furthering our understanding of how areas within the Project boundary may be impacted during the active remediation that is expected to take place between 2021 and 2030. This includes land the Government of the Northwest Territories, as land administrator and manager, leases to the City of the Yellowknife.

The Project team has previously communicated the kinds of work that will be done, and where work will take place in those leased areas, to the City of Yellowknife, as well as to groups with subleases in the area. As more design information becomes available the team will continue to meet with the City and the Government of the Northwest Territories to determine what this means for the leased lands, as well as how to determine the appropriate avenues to address sublease holder concerns.

This picture shows a lake shore with pebbled shoreline and natural grass. Old buildings in disrepair are visible along the shore.
Areas along the shoreline will be cleaned to residential standards.

While not all the details are available now, the Project team will ensure there is as much lead time as possible to look at ways to minimize these impacts, as well as to give the sublease-holders time to plan alternatives for when land will not be accessible. While the Project team works to minimize the time that the public will not be able to access areas such as the boat launch, it is important to note that while work is being complete in those areas, they will remain closed. Just like any other work site, it will not be safe for members of the public during active work. However, this short-term inconvenience will help make the area safer for the public and the environment for the long-term.

The decisions to remediate these areas was not made in isolation, but as a result of extensive engagement with partners, affected parties, and interested members of the public such as the 18-month Surface Design Engagement. The Project team shared these Project decisions on several occasions, such as:

The Project team commits to continuing to communicate and work with leaseholders as design work and detailed plan move forward.

The C5-09 stope complex work completed

This picture shows a cement mixing truck driving down a snowy road on the former mine site. Workers and other mixing trucks are visible in the background.
Equipment used as part of the backfill program has been demobilized from (has left) the site.

The backfilling of stope complex C5-09 was completed on December 11, 2018. In total, 69,436 m3 of backfill material was required to fill the complex – enough to fill up the Multiplex's gym 120 times! This included 16,686 m3 of a self-leveling concrete plug layer. A total of 52,750 m3 of cemented tailings paste makes up the bulk of the backfill material.

Equipment has mostly been removed, though there are a few things that will need to be put back in place in the coming weeks. With this backfill program having wrapped up, construction work associated with the Site Stabilization Plan is now complete, marking a significant milestone for the Giant Mine Remediation Project.

Procurement Update

As the Project team continues to work toward applying for the Type A Water Licence to implement remediation, work continues to keep the site stable and manage risks to ensure the public and the environment remain safe. To help accomplish this, the Main Construction Manager, Parsons Inc., has awarded a number of subcontracts for different work on site. Recent subcontract awards are included below.

Air Quality Monitoring

This photo shows air quality monitoring equipment.
SLR Consulting will be monitoring air quality for the Project team.

Parsons Inc. subcontracted SLR Consulting (Canada) Ltd. to conduct the Project's Air Quality Monitoring Program. This contract was valued at $1,343,600.00. As part of its successful bid, SLR Canada committed to 60 hours of training, that 31% of the labour required will be conducted by Indigenous staff, and that 12% of the subcontracting dollar value will be to Indigenous companies.

Information Technology Assessment

Parsons Inc. subcontracted Global Storm to conduct an Information Technology (IT) assessment. The contract is valued at $6,000.00. As part of its contract, Global Storm committed that 33% of the labour required will be conducted by Indigenous staff.

Parsons Inc. posts all upcoming contract opportunities on Merx, where potential bidders and other interested parties are able to access the information. Parsons also maintains a website specific to the work for the Giant Mine Remediation Project. There, they share information about upcoming contract opportunities and information about recent contract awards. You can visit this website at www.giantminerp.ca.

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