What’s happening at Giant Mine? May and June 2021

A regular update from the Giant Mine Remediation Project team.

On this page:

Remediation set to begin

Now that the project’s water licence and land use permit are in place, we are able to start some of the remediation work this summer. Area residents can expect to see increased traffic to the site as work begins in July. Some work may be visible from the Ingraham Trail. In the Fall there will be blasting at an area called AR1 to make a flat pad over 4 of the arsenic chambers. Additional notice will be provided prior to blasting taking place. While remediation activities are underway, we will also continue care and maintenance activities to keep people and the environment protected. For more information about the work at the site, see the notice on How the Giant Mine remediation plan was developed.

Information about dust and tailings at the Giant Mine site

Health and safety is a top priority for the Giant Mine Remediation Project team. This includes protecting workers and keeping the surrounding communities safe from dust from the site. The project team recognizes that Spring is a windy time of year and some residents have expressed concern about the potential for dust from the project’s tailings ponds to affect surrounding areas. Tailings are the small pieces of rock and dust left over from the process of extracting gold from local bedrock. Approximately 16 million tonnes of tailings are contained in 4 tailings containment areas on site.

Some community members expressed concern that the tailings are made up of arsenic trioxide, similar to what is stored underground at the site. There has been a lot of samples taken from the tailings ponds to understand the content of the tailings. This includes samples collected by universities. The tests show that there is very little arsenic trioxide in the dust coming off tailings. The arsenic in the tailings is mostly in a mineral form that is generally non-toxic. It is expected to stay stable and not change much over the long-term.

A tailings pond, where small pieces of rock and dust leftover from processing gold were deposited at the former mine sit, is shown. Some water is ponded in an area of the tailings. A rocky outcrop and trees are visible in the background and a pipe is visible in the foreground.
One of the site’s tailings ponds, as photographed in mid-May 2021.

However, as with all dusts, the health hazards associated with the exposure is mostly due to the particulate matter entering your respiratory system. The project team actively monitors wind speed and takes measures to reduce and control the dust including, but not limited to:

  • conducting visual inspections 365 days a year during routine security patrols
  • stopping work that releases dust on high-wind days
  • applying a dust control product to tailings ponds and onsite road networks
  • wetting tailings ponds, roads and other dusty areas on-site

The team also takes additional precautions during this time of year including:

  • having an extra supply of dust suppressant (Soil-Tac) on-site
  • having 4 large water cannons on-site so water can be sprayed to keep the dust down
  • stationing 2 full water trucks on site for emergency use

For more information, visit our dust suppression webpage.

The project team uses real-time air quality monitors to make sure 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.

Procurement update

The following includes information about contracts the main construction manager has awarded. Please note the values reflected below were rounded.

Surface care and maintenance

Using a competitive tender process under the Procurement Strategy for Aboriginal Business, Parsons awarded the new contract for surface care and maintenance to the Northern Indigenous Deton’Cho Nuna Joint Venture. The contract is for the period of April 1, 2021 to March 31, 2023 and valued at $10,518,340.

Part of the company's bid included commitments to Indigenous opportunities considerations. These included:

  • 400 hours of training for Indigenous staff
  • 42% of labour to be carried out by Indigenous staff
  • 65% of the subcontracting funds to be allocated to Indigenous companies

Emergency medical services

Parsons extended the contract to provide emergency medical services at the site to the Northern Indigenous joint venture Det’on Cho Medic North. The contract is for the period of June 15, 2018 to March 31, 2023 and valued at $1,046,965.

Part of the company's extension included commitments to Indigenous opportunities considerations, such as:

  • 56 hours of training for Indigenous staff

Ambient Air Quality Monitoring

Using a competitive tender process, Parsons awarded the contract to provide air quality monitoring for the Project to SLR Consulting (Canada) Ltd. The contract is for the period of April 1, 2021 to March 31, 2023 and valued at $4,251,555.

Part of the company's bid included commitments to Indigenous opportunities considerations. These included:

  • 600 hours of training for Indigenous staff
  • 53% of the labour to be carried out by Indigenous staff
  • 2% of the subcontracting funds to be allocated to Indigenous companies

Surface Water and Groundwater Monitoring

Using a competitive tender process, Parsons awarded the contract to provide surface and groundwater monitoring services for the Project to BluMetric Environmental Inc. and True North Environmental Joint Venture. The contract is for the period of April 1, 2021 to March 31, 2023 and valued $952,000.

Part of the company's bid included commitments to Indigenous opportunities considerations. These included:

  • 120 hours of training for Indigenous staff
  • 23% of the labour to be carried out by Indigenous staff
  • 40% of the subcontracting funds to be allocated to Indigenous companies

Non-Hazardous Waste Landfill

Using a competitive tender process under the Procurement Strategy for Aboriginal Business, Parsons awarded the contract to construct the Non-Hazardous Waste Landfill for the Project to Forward Mining LP. The contract is for the period of June 2021 to October 31, 2021 and valued $5,987,672.

Part of the company's bid included commitments to Indigenous opportunities considerations. These included:

  • 14,654 hours of training for Indigenous staff
  • 86% of the labour to be carried out by Indigenous staff
  • 98% of the subcontracting funds to be allocated to Indigenous companies

Effluent Treatment Plant

Using a competitive tender process, Parsons awarded the Effluent Treatment Plant (ETP) contract, for the operation and maintenance of the Project's ETP, to BluMetric Environmental Inc. / Det'on Cho Construction Services in Joint Venture. The contract is for 2 years with an additional 3 1-year options going until 2026, and current contract value is $3,351,000.

Part of the company's bid included commitments to Indigenous opportunities considerations. These included:

  • 2000 hours of training to be carried out by Indigenous staff
  • 40% of the labour to be carried out by Indigenous staff
  • 85% of the subcontracting funds to be allocated to Indigenous companies

Bear Monitoring 2021

Using a competitive tender process under the Procurement Strategy for Aboriginal Business, Parsons awarded the Bear Monitoring 2021 contract, for monitoring and deterring bears and other wildlife using non-lethal techniques on site, to Ek'edia Services. The contract is for 7 months, with an additional 1-year option, and the current contract value is $103,300.

Part of the company's bid included commitments to Indigenous opportunities considerations. These included:

  • 56 hours of training to be carried out by Indigenous staff
  • 100% of the labour to be carried out by Indigenous staff
  • 100% of the subcontracting funds to be allocated to Indigenous companies

In addition, the Main Construction Manager, Parsons Inc., regularly uses MERX to tender work packages. Contractors are encouraged to visit MERX on a regular basis for their tenders, as well as visit Parson’s project website for upcoming tender notices.

Date modified: