What's happening at Giant Mine? September to December 2022

On this page

Engagement update

Media tours the Giant Mine site

The Giant Mine Remediation Project often receives requests for site visits from area media. Not all media tour requests can be accommodated when they are made, so in September 2022 the team invited local media representatives to tour the site. The team also extended invitations to a few reporters from southern Canada who had requested tours in the past. 11 members of the media were able to attend. The Project team began with a technical briefing in the C-Dry boardroom to provide background information to inform the tour of the site.

Following the briefing, the group was outfitted in personal protective equipment, including steel-toed boots and reflective clothing. They were then able to tour the surface of the site to capture photos and videos to share with their audiences.

People in personal protective equipment stand on a gravel road, taking pictures of a dilapidated building. A bus is partially visible, parked on the road next to the people.
Caption: Reporters take pictures of the old mill building and the area where the roaster once stood.
A reporter dressed in personal protective equipment and holding a video stands on a rocky outcrop. Dilapidated buildings and a creek are visible in the background.
Caption: A reporter films the site from a higher vantage point.
A man in a reflective vest and a hard hat holds a recording device in front of a smiling woman, also in personal protective equipment. Another woman in personal protective equipment listens in. A rocky outcrop, a flat gravel surface, and a work truck are partially visible in the background.
Caption: Reporters interviewing Deputy Director Natalie Plato on site.
A woman and a man, both smiling, in personal protective equipment on a flat gravel surface on the Giant Mine site.
Caption: Natalie Plato, the Deputy Director of the Giant Mine Remediation Project team, led the tour jointly with Brad Thompson, Regional Project Advisor for Major Projects, Public Services and Procurement Canada.

As the site changes and remediation continues, we hope to be able to arrange similar opportunities for media in future.

Yellowknives Dene First Nation makes Traditional Knowledge brochure available

The Yellowknives Dene First Nation has produced a brochure capturing some information about their use of their tradition land, including the land where the Giant Mine sites. It includes a map of the area, as well as information about:

You can find a copy of the brochure on their webpage.

News with respect to the wellness study

On June 6, 2022, the Yellowknives Dene First Nation advised the Giant Mine Remediation Project they were withdrawing from the wellness study, which had been called Hoèła Weteèts'eèdeè: Overcoming Hardships from Giant Mine.

In September, the Project team met with the remaining members of the study's advisory committee to seek advice with respect to how to proceed. After careful deliberation, the committee unanimously decided to advise the Project team it should no longer proceed with the study. As such, the Project team has made the difficult decision to discontinue the wellness study. The Project team remains committed to continued engagement and consultation with Rights holders and stakeholders, and to the ongoing protection of the environment and the health and safety of Northerners as it relates to the Giant Mine site.

Site update: field season completes

Over the course of the field season, the Project's second year of early works remediation took place. This included work in the townsite area, final construction of the AR1 freeze pad and a study that looked at de-watering tailings identified for relocation in the Closure and Reclamation Plan. The Project completed significant underground backfill activities this season. The on-site non-hazardous waste landfill was also completed in 2022 and put into use, with townsite waste placed and covered in the landfill area.

Work to prepare the townsite for deconstruction began with the safe removal of asbestos waste from buildings located closer to the core area. This waste was double-bagged in accordance with asbestos disposal protocols and disposed of in the on-site landfill. The landfill's operations also ended with the field season. It will resume operating next spring. In addition, other hazardous material from the deconstructed buildings, such as fire suppression chemicals and used oils, was removed and taken off site for disposal. The remainder of the townsite buildings will be removed next field season.

DJRM First Nations Construction Corporation began building the AR1 freeze pad in fall 2021, and the work was finished this summer. The AR1 freeze pad is 1 of 4 that will be built to house the freeze program. The company had to remove nearly 65,000 m3 of rock in order to build the pad. It will provide the base of over 200 thermosyphons, which will freeze 4 of the arsenic chambers.

A flat gravel pad is visible next to a rocky outcrop. A rock wall contained in wire fencing acts as a barrier on one side. Old buildings, a road, a creek, and trees are also visible next to the pad.
Caption: View of the lower AR1 freeze pad from above.
A flat gravel pad with a rock wall contained in wire fencing acting as a barrier on one site, with rocky outcrops visible in the background.
Caption: The completed upper AR1 pad.

During the months of August, September and October, the Project conducted a de-watering study on the South Pond Tailings. As part of the Closure and Reclamation Plan, the tailings in the South Pond will be relocated to the North and Central Tailings Ponds, to reduce their footprint. To make the future relocation easier, the Project needed to conduct a study to determine our ability to remove water, or de-water, from the tailings. The Project team is currently reviewing the results of the study. To date, the results are promising and the Project team will be able to provide further information once their review is complete.

De-watering equipment is installed on a tailings pond, on which some trucks are located, with trees and a building visible in the background.
Caption: The de-watering study's installation on the South Tailings Pond.

Design update: Water Treatment Plant

The Project team continues to make progress on moving the Water Treatment Plant work package forward. Now that the Project has a final design, it was able to move forward with an initial procurement process to identify potential bidders. Once this process was completed, the Request for Proposal was released to the 4 pre-qualified bidders. The Request for Proposal closes at the end of January 2023, and the Project anticipates reviewing the bids to award the contract within a month of the closing date. We anticipate the winning bidder will be able to begin the work in the 2023 field season.

Revised cost estimate for the Project

The Giant Mine Remediation Project has recently finalized its revised cost estimate. We recognize there are questions about the cost increases, and so want to provide information to help clarify why the cost estimate has changed from the initial projected estimate.

The updated estimate for implementing the Giant Mine Remediation Project is approximately $4.38 billion. The total includes $710 million of historical expenditures incurred since 2005. The Giant Mine Remediation Project team, including Parsons Inc. as the Main Construction Manager, developed the estimated project costs. It was also validated by an independent third-party expert in mine reclamation.

In 2010, the Project's estimated cost was $1 billion. This original figure only outlined the construction-related costs for the remediation work. As its closest comparison, the Project team estimates the remediation activity-specific costs will now be around $2.4 billion. The 2010 cost estimate was based on the original remediation plan developed for the Project in 2007. The original remediation plan was sent to Environmental Assessment because rights holders and stakeholders felt the Project needed to be changed to become more robust. The environmental assessment changed the scope and scale of the Remediation Plan and resulted in the approved Closure and Reclamation Plan, which contributed additional cost considerations.

The Project team also recognized the need for a more holistic estimate. This would ensure that everyone had fulsome information about what implementing the Project would cost. The team needed the cost estimate to reflect more factors than just the remediation work, such as projected inflation, contingencies and Canada's operational costs with respect to managing the Project through to 2038.

In addition to being more holistic, the cost estimate now reflects that the Project's scope, schedule and cost have been significantly affected by a number of other factors, such as:

Contact us

Phone: 867-669-2426
Email: giantmine@rcaanc-cirnac.gc.ca
Twitter: @GiantMine

Did you find what you were looking for?

What was wrong?

You will not receive a reply. Don't include personal information (telephone, email, SIN, financial, medical, or work details).
Maximum 300 characters

Thank you for your feedback

Date modified: