Pine Point Project (N-204)
Principal Investigator: Landry, Francois (3)
Licence Number: 15019
Organization: Rescan Environmental Services Ltd.
Licenced Year(s): 2012 2011
Issued: Feb 26, 2012
Project Team: François Landry (Project Manager), Allyson Longmuir (Project Coordinator), Tolga Olcay (Atomospheric Scientist), Jem Morrison (Atomospheric Scientist), Bob Askin (Water Resource Engineer), Coby Hall (Hydrologist), Gerry Papini (Hydrogeologist), Jon Cooper (Hydrologist), Xavier Pinto (Hydrologist), Mike Soloducha (Hydrologist), Mark Nelson (Geologist), Susan Ames (Soil Scientist), Katarina Glavas (Soil Scientist), Tomasz Gradowski (Soil Scientist), Bryer Manwell (Hydrogeologist), Remi Allard (Hydrogeologist), Melissa Pink (Fisheries Biologist), Pascale-Laure Savage (Fisheries Biologist), Allegra Cairns (Aquatic Biologist), Tonia Robb (Aquatic Biologist), Julia Shewan (Wildlife Biologist), Greg Sharam (Wildlife Biologist), Katie Kuker (Wildlife Biologist), Christine Kent (Wildlife Biologist), Leslie Bol (Wildlife Biologist), Natasha Bush (Vegetation Ecologist), Dan McAllister (Vegetation Ecologist), Wayne Blashill (Archaeologist), Wade Brunham (Wetlands Scientist), Sean McKnight (Archaeologist), Lisa Seip (Archaeologist), Dan Walker (Archaeologist), Vanessa Neuman (Archaeologist), Field Assistant (Field Assistant)

Objective(s): To collect baseline data to characterize the environmental (physical and biological) setting in the proposed project area which is located in proximity to the former Pine Point Mine.

Project Description: The objective of the proposed study is to collect baseline data to characterize the environmental (physical and biological) setting in the proposed project area which is located in proximity to the former Pine Point Mine. Specifically, data will be collected to characterize the following environmental components: air quality, noise, hydrology, hydrogeology, geochemistry, aquatic resources, fish and fish habitat, soils, vegetation and wetlands.

Atmospheric Sciences: Noise measurements will be conducted on site. A sound level meter capable of logging data will be used to log data for 24 consecutive hours. Air quality data will also be collected using passive air samplers and integrated sampler.

Hydrology: Hydrometric monitoring stations will be installed and operated during the open water season (May to October). Monitoring stations will be installed where necessary (following field reconnaissance work) at strategic locations within the project area. At each monitoring station, continuous records of surface water levels along the stream channel will be collected over the open-water season. Stations will be established as early as possible in order to observe the annual peak flows and deactivated in mid to late October, just prior to the onset of freezing conditions.
Hydrogeology: The aquifers in the potential mining area(s) will be characterized by drilling boreholes and installing monitoring wells to suitable depths. During drilling, the hydraulic properties of the rock will be measured by packer testing and the monitoring wells screened in the more permeable zones. Hydraulic properties of the overburden material will be measured by conducting rising and falling head tests in the groundwater monitoring wells installed into these materials. Groundwater levels will be measured to establish direction of flow and hydraulic gradient. Groundwater samples will be collected and analyzed for standard parameters including major anions and cations and dissolved metals.

Aquatics: Water quality data from lake/pond and stream sites will be collected within the study area. Data that will be collected include water chemistry and sediment chemistry as well as measures of primary productivity (phytoplankton in lakes/ponds and periphyton in streams) and secondary productivity (zooplankton and benthic invertebrates). Collection methods for water, sediment and benthos will be standard methods as outlined in the Metal Mining Guidance Document for Aquatic Environmental Effects Monitoring and CABIN protocol as defined by Environment Canada. Water quality samples will be collected four times in the open water season (June - September) and all biology and sediment samples will be collected during the August sampling trip.

Fish and Fish Habitat: Streams and lakes/ponds in the vicinity of the study sites will be sampled. Stream habitat assessments will be conducted in the study area during two sampling periods: freshet (June) and summer low-flow (August). Variables will be measured to determine substrate, habitat cover, and physical characteristics of the stream. The lake/pond habitat assessment will collect data to delineate shoreline and littoral substrate types, riparian vegetation types and habitat types. The fish community in streams will be sampled using backpack electrofishers. At each site, one-pass electrofishing will be conducted over a minimum 100 m-long stream section and for a minimum of approximately 1,000 electrofishing seconds. Electrofishing will not be completed where fish are observed to be spawning. Lakes/ponds will be sampled with sinking gillnets and baited minnow traps. Gillnets will be set randomly throughout the lake/ponds. Minnow traps will be set in the littoral zone at depths of approximately 2 m for periods of 24 hours duration. Biological information collected on captured fish will include: number, species, length (mm), wet weight (g) and age (as read from scales, pelvic fin rays, otoliths or cleithra). An application will be submitted to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada for a Licence to Fish for Scientific Purposes. A second application, for an Animal Use Protocol will be submitted to the Animal Care Committee at the Freshwater Institute.

Soils and Terrain: Terrain mapping will be carried out using aerial photos or anaglyph data. The terrain map will be checked in the field. Groundtruthing will include the collection of site, terrain, and soils information. Soil samples (approximately 50 grams each) will be collected from some sites for baseline analysis.

Wetlands: To characterize and classify wetlands in the area, a field survey will be conducted to identify wetlands in the proposed project area. At each wetland, a hand-held soil auger will be used to characterize the soil layers soil moisture regime and texture. Soil water pH and conductivity will be measured using a handheld sonde in the auger holes. Vegetation tissue samples will be collected for laboratory analysis and a vegetation species list will be recorded at each site.

Vegetation: Field surveys at all sites will consist of surveys for rare and invasive plants. Field surveys will also include general ecosystem surveys in the local study area to guide ecosystem mapping. The ecosystem surveys are conducted by a vegetation scientist working with a soil scientist. The soil surveys consist of digging small pits to classify soil type, moisture and nutrients, etc, which is then related to ecosystem type. Plant tissue samples will be collected as well, and sent to ALS laboratory in Vancouver to be analyzed for baseline metals concentrations.

Local field assistants will be hired from the Deninu Kue First Nation, Katlodeeche First Nation, Fort Resolution Métis Council, and Hay River Métis Government Council and will be assisting the researchers in their work.

Public meetings for information exchange and project status updates will be held at milestone points of the project. Tamerlane’s Corporate Liaison Officer, Randy Alan Lewis, will be available to communicate with interested stakeholders and community members.

The fieldwork for this study will be conducted from February 27, 2012 to December 31, 2012.