Gahcho Kué Project – Vegetation Baseline Studies

Regions: South Slave Region

Tags: mining, biology, vegetation, botany

Principal Investigator: Smyth, Clint (1)
Licence Number: 14187
Organization: EBA Consulting Engineers and Scientists
Licenced Year(s): 2007
Issued: Jun 26, 2007
Project Team: Clint Smyth (Principal Investigator, EBA Consulting Engineers & Scientists), Greg Sutor (Field Assistant, EBA Consulting Engineers & Scientists), Matt Stephenson (GIS Mapping, EBA Consulting Engineers & Scientists)

Objective(s): The overall objective of this project to establish baseline metal concentrations for selected plant species such as lichens, mosses, grasses, sedges, willows and birch for use in the environmental assessment of the Gahcho KuT Project.

Project Description: The overall objective of this project to establish baseline metal concentrations for selected plant species such as lichens, mosses, grasses, sedges, willows and birch for use in the environmental assessment of the Gahcho Kué Project.

De Beers Canada Inc. has been conducting vegetation 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 vegetation baseline data that is being compiled for the area.

Access to the site will involve fixed-wing aircraft, while on-site transportation will be via walking, boat or helicopter. Field equipment consists of a stainless steel shovel, paper and plastic sample bags, and felt markers. Camp equipment will include a dissecting scope, compound microscope, ultraviolet lamp, dissecting kit and chemicals (calcium hypochlorite, potassium hydroxide, paraphenylenediamine and potassium iodide).
Plant tissues and soil samples will be collected systematically at a minimum of 4 sites near Kennady Lake. Twenty composite soil samples and 100 plant tissue samples will be collected. Tissue samples from lichen, moss and other plant species will be collected, identified, and analyzed for metal concentrations. Approximately 1 kilogram (kg) of soil per replicate will be required and approximately 250 grams of each species per replicate will be required for the plants. Field tests will be carried out to confirm lichen species identification. 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 15, 2007 in the general area of Kennady Lake (63.4453 N, 109.2119 W).