Ausenco’s technical specialists completed a review of the water licence application to understand if the Yellowknives Dene First Nation’s (YKDFN) longstanding concerns with the Giant Mine site and that communities’ health concerns are being appropriately addressed.
Between 1948 and 2004, the Giant Mine produced gold in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. When the mine stopped operating and Canada became the site custodian, attention focused on the environmental issues left behind including 237,000 tonnes of arsenic trioxide stored in underground chambers.
The project’s primary goal is to protect human health and safety and the environment. This requires long-term containment and management of the arsenic trioxide waste and water treatment, as well as cleanup of the surface of the site. The purpose of the project is to freeze in place the subterranean arsenic and actively manage surface contamination and contaminant flow into neighbouring water bodies and communities.
In April 2019, the Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada applied to the Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board (MVLWB) for a type A water licence and land use permit. Ausenco was retained by YKDFN to provide technical, strategic, and project management support during the GMRP water licensing process. The scope of work includes managing and producing deliverables for YKDFN submission into the MVLWB. These submissions synthesize the input received from team discussions, community meetings, YKDFN leadership, and technical experts. Our technical specialists completed a review of the water licence application to understand if the YKDFN’s longstanding concerns with the Giant Mine site and that communities’ health concerns are being appropriately addressed.
Our role extends beyond the Giant Mine into YKDFN’s broader strategic discussions concerning the legacy of Giant Mine and includes specific objectives of building YKDFN capacity through mentorships and job-shadowing. Ausenco has established successful working relationships with local Indigenous groups across northern Canada. It is through these relationships that we aspire to train and develop the capabilities of local personnel, so they can actively participate and benefit from direct and indirect involvement in northern projects for years to come.