EKATI Aquatic Monitoring Program, 2009-2013
Principal Investigator: Robb, Tonia L (4)
Licence Number: 14996
Organization: Rescan Environmental Services
Licenced Year(s): 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003
Issued: Jan 16, 2012

Objective(s): To determine if the EKATI mine is having an effect on the surrounding aquatic environment and air quality to provide baseline data for areas where mine development may occur in the future.

Project Description: The main objectives of the field work for 2009 to 2013 will be to determine if the EKATI mine is having an effect on the surrounding aquatic environment and air quality to provide baseline data for areas where mine development may occur in the future.

In winter, water samples will be collected under ice using a 5L Niskin (a cylindrical PVC water sampler).
During the week of 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. In summer, physical limnology measurements will be taken with a multi-meter which measures dissolved oxygen and temperature. Water quality and phytoplankton samples will be collected using a GO-FLO (a cylindrical PVC water sampler). Zooplankton samples will be collected using a conical mesh net towed through the water column. Lake benthos and sediment quality samples will be collected using an Ekman grab sampler (surface areas 0.0225m2). Stream benthos samples will be collected using artificial substrates (Hester-Dendy samplers) which consist of 9 plates stacked vertically with a total surface area of 0.09 m2. Fyke nets, dip nets, minnow traps, fish boxes, electrofishing and 1.5 inch sinking gillnets may be used to sample fish. Gillnets will be set for short periods (i.e., approximately 1 hour) to reduce fish mortality. When needed, tissue samples will be collected from fish. A maximum of 20 lake trout and 20 round whitefish would be sampled for tissue analysis. For the Air Quality Management Plan (AQMP), air samples are collected by HVAS methods (High Volume Air Sampling) where large volumes of air are pulled through a filter that collects total suspended particulates. Snow samples are collected using a Mt. Rose sampler (corer). Only one species of lichen is sampled and vegetation are monitored using distribution surveys.

Each year, results from the program will be made publicly available through BHP Billiton and will be presented in a Summary Report that describes highlights of the program.

The fieldwork for this study will be conducted from January 1, 2012 to December 31, 2012.