Gahcho Kué Project – Soils and Terrain Baseline Studies
Principal Investigator: Robertson, Scott (1)
Licence Number: 14186
Organization: AMEC Earth & Environmental
Licenced Year(s): 2007
Issued: Jun 26, 2007
Project Team: Scott Robertson (Prinicipal Investigator, AMEC Earth & Environmental), Larry Turchenek (Soil Scientist, AMEC Earth & Environmental), Ryan Denbigh (Soil Scientist - Investigator, AMEC Earth & Environmental)

Objective(s): The overall objective of this project is to collect additional Soil and Terrain information for use in the environmental assessment of the De Beers Canada Inc. proposed Gahcho KuT Project.

Project Description: The overall objective of this project is to collect additional Soil and Terrain information for use in the environmental assessment of the De Beers Canada Inc. proposed Gahcho Kué Project.

De Beers Canada Inc. has been conducting Soils and Terrain baseline studies for a number of years in the area of the Gahcho Kué Project. The studies planned for this year will add to the Terrain and Soils baseline data that is being compiled for the area.

Access to the site will involve a fixed-wing aircraft, while on-site transportation will be via walking or helicopter. Terrain analysis and soil surveys are conducted as part of an integrated process which involves vegetation and soil mapping.
Terrain studies involve looking at the surficial material, landforms, slopes and drainage characteristics of the area. To obtain the surficial material descriptions, soil pits (30 cm in diameter) will be dug to a depth of less than 0.5 m using shovels, and up to 1 m or to the permafrost layer using 7 cm hand augers. The pits will be filled in once required data has been obtained and recorded.
Soil studies involve classifying the soil in the area according to the Canadian system of soil classification, mapping, chemical and physical characterization, and assessment of soil quality. To classify the soil, about 50 soil pits (30 cm in diameter – less than 1 m in depth – same as those noted above) will be visually examined and notes recorded. Soil samples will also be taken for laboratory analysis. It is expected that up to 20 samples will be taken from a subset of the 50 visually described sites. The samples will each be about a litre in volume and will be taken by hand from the small soil pits.
The field survey program will be carried out by one field crew which will consist of two soil scientists (or a soil scientist and a plant ecologist/botanist), and a local assistant. The field program is scheduled to take place over a one week period in June or July.

The data will be summarized and included as part of the Gahcho Kué Environmental Impact Statement which will be submitted to the Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact Review Board by De Beers Canada Inc.
The results will be communicated during discussions with the communities, and a summary of the data will be prepared as part of the Aurora Research Institute Licensing Process which will be submitted following the field work.

Fieldwork will be conducted from June 26 to August 25, 2007 in the general area of Kennady Lake (63.4453 N, 109.2119 W).