What's happening at Giant Mine? March and April 2022

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Site update

The following section includes information about remediation work that will take place this summer, as well as work that has recently taken place.

Work starting notice: townsite deconstruction and aggregate hauling

Summer work is starting on site! Active remediation work continues on site this spring and summer, including the townsite deconstruction and hauling aggregate for the AR1 Freeze Pad construction. Work is expected to begin mid-May and will continue throughout summer 2022.

Traffic and heavy truck presence will increase on roads and highways surrounding the Giant Mine site, including at the public boat launch near the Giant Mine Site and on the Ingraham Trail (Highway 4). People travelling on the Ingraham Trail (Highway 4) should watch for trucks turning in and out of the Giant Mine site.

Boaters accessing the public boat launch should be aware of trucks travelling through the area to access the site. The boat launch will remain open for public use during this time; however, users should be mindful of their surroundings at all times.

Please be cautious when driving in this area or using the boat launch, and pay attention to the electronic signage.

For more information, email the Project team.

Dust update

Spring is typically a season with higher winds in Yellowknife. The Giant Mine Remediation Project team takes active measures to reduce and control dust at the site year-round. These measures include:

  • visual inspections during routine security patrols
  • discussing wind speed forecasts with all subcontractors working on-site at daily morning tailgate meetings so they are aware of conditions and can take appropriate precautions during their daily tasks
  • using appropriate and applicable best management practices to minimize dust generation during site activities
  • applying water and an approved dust control product to tailings ponds using trucks or water cannons
  • stationing 2 full water trucks on site for emergency use when wind forecasts are high
  • minimizing or pausing work that releases dust on high-wind days

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. However, the Project has an Air Quality Monitoring Program that measures what's in the dust, both from stations on-site and at community stations located in Yellowknife and Ndilo.

The Project team uses conservative criteria, that is, a strict level that is lower than what would cause harm, to trigger more actions to control the dust on site based on what the real-time monitors that form part of the Air Quality Monitoring Program show at a given time. This helps to ensure residents are not exposed to unacceptable levels of contaminants from the activities occurring at the Giant Mine site.

Results of the ambient air quality monitoring program indicate local air quality has not been significantly impacted by activities associated with the Giant Mine Site.

It is important to remember that dust in the communities of Yellowknife, Dettah, and Ndilo does not always come from the Giant Mine site. There are many potential sources of dust, particularly in dry climates such as is found in these 3 communities.

Spring is a common time of year for the community air quality monitoring stations to pick up dust generated from other activities such as municipal and territorial road cleaning. The Project team uses air quality monitoring at the site perimeter and in Yellowknife and Ndilo to help determine if the site is a source of dust.

The Project continually monitors all areas of site for visible dust, and applies water or an approved dust suppressant as needed. Tailings can be a major source of potential dust so remediation of the site in the future including covering the tailings ponds, will minimize the dust in the air.

It is also important to note that evidence from studies such as the Project's Human Health and Ecological Risk Assessment suggests dust created by the Giant Mine site is not having a significant impact on normal seasonal air quality in Yellowknife, nor is it seen as a concern from a human health perspective.

For more information about what we measure, visit Air quality monitoring at Giant Mine. For air quality monitoring reports and results visit http://aqm.enr.gov.nt.ca/.

Caption: A water truck used for dust suppression preparing to operate at the Giant Mine site.
Caption: A water cannon operating at the Giant Mine site, spraying down the soil as part of dust suppression activities.

Work notice: use of propane noise cannons

In preparation for the deconstruction of the townsite buildings, the Giant Mine Remediation Project has deployed propane noise cannons and bird kites to deter birds from nesting on site in spring 2022. The Project has placed 6 propane cannons around the townsite area. The cannons will be operational approximately every 30 minutes beginning in April until late August or early September, to cover the migratory bird nesting season in Yellowknife.

Propane cannons work by creating noise only, and will not harm wildlife. Preventing birds from nesting on site where deconstruction work is planned will help ensure that birds and their nests are not harmed.

For more information about this work on site, email the Project team.

Caption: A propane noise cannon within the Townsite at the Giant Mine site.
Caption: A propane noise cannon sits in the snow near a building at the townsite at the Giant Mine site.

On-site tire shredding for non-hazardous waste landfill

There are approximately 2,500 legacy tires of varying sizes left on the Giant Mine site from past mining operations. A tire shredder will be used on site to shred them into small pieces in spring 2022. The shredded tires will be spread out along the base of the non-hazardous waste landfill to create a drainage layer for the landfill. This drainage layer allows the Project to dispose of a waste product (the tires) while providing a benefit to the landfill design at the same time.

Early works stope backfilling program

Preparation for the summer stope backfill program is in progress. As part of the early works underground stabilization program, the Project plans to backfill select underground stopes with paste, starting in May 2022. The paste will consist of a mix of onsite tailings, cement, water and approved chemical additives that will bind together to fill underground voids otherwise at risk of causing instabilities at surface or between stopes. In preparation for this upcoming work, the Project is constructing underground barricades and paste delivery systems and installing remote camera monitoring systems underground.

Engagement update

Come find the Project team at the Yellowknife Spring Trade show

We are excited to participate in-person at the upcoming Yellowknife Spring Trade show, taking place Mother's Day weekend at the local multiplex. This is the first in-person trade show since 2019, and an exciting opportunity for the team to share details of the new active remediation work on site with the local public. For additional trade show details, visit the Yellowknife Chamber of Commerce trade show information page.

The Giant Mine Remediation Project ream will be in Booth 66 at the trade show location at 41 Kam Lake Road in Yellowknife. Team members will be on hand:

  • May 7th from 10:00 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mountain Time
  • May 8th from 10:00 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mountain Time

We can't wait to see you there!

Caption: From left to right, Project team members Geneva Irwin and Andrei Torianski at the 2019 tradeshow.

Public Forum 2022

Thank you to all who attended the Project's annual Public Forum event, held virtually on March 1, 2022. Some of the topics discussed this year included:

  • remediation having begun, including substantial completion of the non-hazardous waste landfill, in 2021
  • blasting for construction of the AR1 Freeze Pad, which began in 2021 and was completed in spring 2022

As we progress in active remediation, we continue to ensure that the health and safety questions and concerns of residents, rights holders and stakeholders are addressed both through how we monitor and manage work at site and by participating in different health-related studies.

Do you have questions for the Project team about the work taking place at Giant Mine? Please don't hesitate to email the Project team.

Procurement update

Changes to the Main Construction Manager contract

The Giant Mine Remediation Project's Main Construction Manager, Parsons Inc. (Parsons), is required to follow limits set within the federal construction management contract. In continued efforts to maximize socio-economic benefits from the Project, the team identified areas for improvement and adjustment. The following changes have been made to Parsons' contract:

  • The Sole source limit was changed to $0 - $100,000, from an original limit of $0 - $25,000.
  • The Invitation to Tender limit changed to $100,000 - $1,000,000, from an original limit of $25,000 - $99,999.
  • The Open Tender limit changed to $1,000,001+, from an original limit of $100,000.

The changes will give Parsons increased flexibility in procuring work packages and will support Canada's mandate to increase Indigenous participation in government contracts.

Work packages under the Giant Mine Remediation Project continue to include Indigenous Opportunity Considerations, and the Project will continue to use the Procurement Strategy for Indigenous Businesses when sufficient capacity supports it.

New contracts awarded

This section shares information about recent contracts the Main Construction Manager, Parsons Inc. (Parsons) has awarded. Please note the values reflected below were rounded to the nearest dollar.

Survey services

Parsons awarded a new contract to Det'on Cho Challenger Geomatics, a Northern Indigenous supplier, for site survey services.

Contract duration: January 2022 to October 31, 2022
Contract value: $309,500
Indigenous Opportunities Considerations: 400 training hours, 33% labour, and 100% sub-contracting

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