2005 Aquatic Monitoring Program - EKATI Diamond Mine
Principal Investigator: Muggli, Deborah (2)
Licence Number: 13811
Organization: Rescan Environmental Services Ltd.
Licenced Year(s): 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003
Issued: May 19, 2005
Project Team: Christel Leonhardt (Environmental Scientist, Rescan), Christina James (Environmental Scientist, Rescan), Heather Toews (Environmental Scientist, Rescan), François Landry (Fisheries Biologist, Rescan), Andrew Harwood (Fisheries Biologist, Rescan), Jonathan Olsen (Environmental Scientist, Rescan), Shane Uren (Hydrologist, Rescan), Michael Stewart (Hydrologist, Rescan), Brett van Poorten (Fisheries Biologist, Rescan), Patrick Kramers (Environmental Technician, Recan), Mike McGurk (Fisheries Biologist, Rescan), Mark Whelly (Environmental Scientist, Rescan), Marc Wen (Oceanographer, Rescan), Wade Brunham (Environmental Scientist, Rescan), Rose Spicker (GIS Specialist, Rescan), Soren Jensen (Environmental Engineer, Rescan), Jason Rempel (Environmental Engineer, Rescan), Dave Campbell (Environmental Engineer, Rescan), Dan Jarratt (Meterologist, Rescan), Tania Perzoff (Environmental Scientist, Rescan)

Project Description: The main objective of the field work to be performed in 2005 is to determine if the EKATI mine is having an effect on its surrounding aquatic environment and to provide baseline data for the area.

Transportation to and from site will be provided by BHP Billiton. The primary form of transportation of personnel and equipment will be via regularly scheduled Canadian North flights to site. While on-site, a helicopter will be used to transport research personnel and their equipment to and from lake sites. A small boat equipped with an outboard motor will be used to manoeuvre around lakes. The field team will be on site for sampling on several occasions throughout the field season. The timing and duration of field trips vary for the different projects. Aquatic sampling takes place for mainly during the months of June, July, August and September. PDC monitoring will take place continuously from early July to mid-October.

During the week of the spring freshet, hydrology and meteorology stations will be set up and their data loggers will be serviced approximately once a month until the end of the field season. Water quality, phytoplankton and zooplankton samples will be collected using a clean GO-FLO (a cylindrical PVC water sampler). Physical limnology measurements will be taken with a multi-meter which measures dissolved oxygen and temperature. Benthos and sediment quality will be measured using an Ekman grab sampler (surface area of 0.0225m2). The method of fish sampling will be the use of 1.5 inch sinking gillnet. These will be set for short periods (approximately 1 hour) to minimize mortality. Where possible, tissue samples will be collected from fish that die in gillnets. If additional tissue samples are required, some fish captured in gillnets will be sacrificed. A maximum of 20 lake trout and 20 round whitefish will be sampled for tissue analysis in each lake.

BHP Billiton has a policy of hiring as many northerners and aboriginals as possible. Their goal is to have at least 62% northern employees, and 31% aboriginals. Numerous summer students from various communities are hired on and will be on hand to assist the researchers in their work. Thus, all hiring of personnel and local involvement is conducted by BHP Billiton and provided to the researchers upon request. Findings from the 2005 aquatic program will be made publicly available through BHPB and will be presented in a Final Summary Report that describes highlights of program.
The study will be conducted at 47 lakes and 40+ other sites west of Long Lake Containment Facility Area, Ekati Diamond Mine.