Giant Mine newsletter: July to August 2019

Get the most recent updates on the Giant Mine remediation project.

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Effluent treatment and discharge

This picture shows a pipe leading up a road to an effluent treatment plant. Three large tanks are visible next a building, with trees in the background.
The current effluent treatment plant.

Now that we are well into summer, the project team has begun to discharge treated effluent (which, in our case, is minewater) from the Giant Mine site. The effluent is treated for various metals, including arsenic, before being discharged into Baker Creek. This is a yearly event, and the effluent is treated and sampled as per Environment and Climate Change Canada's Metal and Diamond Mining Effluent Regulations prior to release. This helps ensure people, fish, and fish habitat are protected. More information about the project's management of water on site is available on the Treating the water at Giant Mine page.

Regulatory process update

Since April 1, 2019, the Giant Mine Remediation Project's water licence and land use permit applications have been working their way through the regulatory process. On April 10, 2019, the Mackenzie Valley deemed the project's application complete. That meant that organizations and members of the public could begin to submit review comments about the application through the board's online review system. The project was given 3 weeks to respond to more than 850 reviewer comments, which are available to the public here:

A group of people sitting in a u-shaped formation, with microphones and paper in front of them, looking at a presentation screen.
Intervenors, board staff, and members of the project team took part in the technical sessions.

The reviewer comments the board received were used to determine the topics for the technical sessions. The purpose of the technical sessions is to allow parties to gather information to help prepare for the coming public hearings. The first of 2 sets of technical sessions were held July 9 to 12, 2019. At the session, the project team gave presentations on many of the technical components of the site. This was followed by time for reviewers to ask a series of questions on each topic. The sessions often went into the late evening and covered a wide breadth of information. The technical team, led by Natalie Plato, Jane Amphlett and Erika Nyyssonen, was prepared with in-depth responses to questions, having worked with the project team in advance to consider all topics that might be raised.

The second set of technical sessions are currently scheduled to occur from September 9 to 13, 2019. The public hearings are expected to take place in January 2020. Information about the water licence process is available in the April 2019 enewsletter.

The Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board is best positioned to answer questions about the Water Licence regulatory process.

Engagement update

The project team and its partners and stakeholders have been focused mainly on the regulatory process over the past few months. However, regular engagement bodies such as the Working Group have continued to meet and, on July 4, 2019, the annual site tour took place. This year featured a tour of both the surface and the underground.

Eleven people in personal protective gear look over a grey, rocky area on which hundreds of sea cans are stacked.
Members of the working group look over the Materials Storage Area.

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