EKATI Engineering and Environmental Monitoring Programs
Principal Investigator: Hayward, April (1)
Licence Number: 16036
Organization: Dominion Diamond Ekati Corp
Licenced Year(s): 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013
Issued: Feb 03, 2017

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

Project Description: The main objectives of the field work for 2017 to 2021 will be:1) to determine if the Ekati Diamond Mine is having an effect on the surrounding aquatic environment and air quality; and 2) 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 2.5L 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 up to two methods, artificial substrates (Hester-Dendy samplers) which consist of 9 plates stacked vertically with a total surface area of 0.09 m2, allowing to evaluate short-term colonization; and/or Surber samplers, which will provide a whole community snapshot at the time of sampling. Fish box traps, fyke nets, dip nets, minnow traps, and electrofishing may be used to sample fish. When required, tissue samples will be collected from fish for required metals analyses. Large-bodied fish sampling is scheduled to occur every six years; the next sampling period will be in 2018. A maximum of five lake trout will be lethally sampled for these tissue analyses, the remaining obtained from tissue biopsies taken from live-sampled fish. Round whitefish will be lethally sampled for their tissues and will be generally limited to 20 mortalities per sampled lake. Slimy sculpin, will also be lethally sampled, but at an interval of every three years, currently set to occur in 2018. A total of 30 slimy sculpin will be euthanized for various analyses including metals. Air samples are collected via Partisol samplers methods where large volumes of air are pulled through a filter that collects total suspended particulates. Dustfall monitoring stations are constructed and situated in accordance with the methods outlined. Snow samples are collected using a Mt. Rose sampler (corer). Only two species of lichen are sampled.

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

The fieldwork for this study will be conducted from February 3, 2017 to December 31, 2017.