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Reclamation of abandoned tailings at a northern minesite

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Title: Reclamation of abandoned tailings at a northern minesite
Author: Baker, Fred A.; Letient, Henri; Madill, H.
Issue Date: 1992
Publicly Available in cIRcle 2009-10-27
Series/Report no. British Columbia Mine Reclamation Symposium 1992
Abstract: In the past, the long-term environmental impacts of mining operations were not as well understood as they are today. Some of the practices that were generally accepted throughout Canada would probably not meet today's standards for environmental protection. The implementation of Canada's Green Plan allowed the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development (DIAND) to access funds to investigate remedial options for some of these sites. One of the components of the Green Plan is the Arctic Environmental Strategy (AES) which is being implemented by DIAND. The abandoned Discovery Mine site near Yellowknife, N.W.T., includes tailings that are acid generating and contaminated with mercury. Studies conducted at the Discovery site between 1976 and 1986 concluded that continuing erosion of the tailings is resulting in ongoing mercury contamination of the adjacent Giauque Lake sediments and that the fish in Giauque Lake are sufficiently contaminated with mercury to render them unsafe for human consumption. In August 1991, DIAND commissioned a study to develop reclamation options and to estimate the implementation costs to physically stabilize the tailings, minimize acid rock drainage, and prevent further contamination of the lake sediments. This paper describes the federal programs leading to the classification of contaminated sites and the allocation of funds for rehabilitation. The reclamation options developed for the Discovery site are presented with their engineering and environmental implications.
Affiliation: Applied Science, Faculty of
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2429/14194
Peer Review Status:

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