Information about dust suppression activities at the Giant Mine site.
How does the Project team suppress dust?
The Project team actively takes measures to reduce and control dust at the site. These measures include:
- visual inspections during routine security patrols
- stopping work that releases dust, particularly on high-wind days
- applying a dust control product to tailings ponds
- wetting tailings ponds
- applying calcium chloride to roads
In past years, staff applied a product called Soil Sement to tailings to control dust. In 2017, the Project team began using a different product. The Project team consulted with the Giant Mine Advisory Committee and the Giant Mine Working Group about choosing a new product. Both supported finding a new, longer-lasting dust control product.
The new product, SoilTac, is an environmentally-safe polymer that bonds to materials. When applied to the dust, it makes a highly-effective crust on top. This keeps the dust from blowing away. This product was chosen because it can be put on the tailings at lower temperatures, and can rapidly create a thicker and more effective crust while only requiring application every three to five years.
Dust suppressant is available on site at all times.
While the Project team actively works to reduce dust from the site and protect the nearby communities, these measures cannot completely stop dust on very windy days. Remediating the site, however, will eliminate dust. Until full remediation can go forward, the team will continue to manage the dry conditions.
Where does the dust come from?
There are many potential sources of dust, particularly in dry climates such as Yellowknife. It is important to remember that dust in the communities of Yellowknife, Dettah, and Ndilo does not always come from the mine site. The Project team uses air quality monitoring at the fenceline and in the communities to know if the site is the source of dust in the communties.
Dust detected at the site doesn't necessarily contain arsenic trioxide or other mining by-products. The safe deconstruction of the roaster complex, completed in 2014, as well as removal of other infrastructure, greatly reduced the risks related to dust from the site.
Real-time monitors that make up the Air Quality Monitoring Program use conservative criteria to ensure residents are not being exposed to unacceptable levels of contaminants from the activities occurring at the Giant Mine site. For more information about what we measure, visit Air quality monitoring at Giant Mine.