De Beers Snap Lake Mine - 2010 Environmental Monitoring Program
Principal Investigator: McCallum, Dee (2)
Licence Number: 14670
Organization: De Beers Canada Inc.
Licensed Year(s): 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2002 2001 2000 1999
Issued: Mar 08, 2010
Project Team: M. Robinson (Project Manager, Golder Associates Ltd.), A. Lahti (Fisheries Techician, Golder Associates Ltd.), H. Machtans (Fisheries Biologist, Golder Associates Ltd.), K. Gerien (Aquatic Biologist, Golder Associates Ltd.), J. Virgil (Wildlife Biologist, Golder Associates Ltd.), D. Panayi (Wildlife Biologist, Golder Associates Ltd.), C. Wood (Wildlife Biologist, Golder Associates Ltd.), B. Topp (Hydrologist, Golder Associates Ltd.), T. McArthur (Hydrologist, Golder Associates Ltd.), L. May (Vegetation Ecologist, Golder Associates Ltd.), M. Ealey (Vegetation Ecologist, Golder Associates Ltd.), L. Young (Wildelife Biologist, Golder Associates Ltd.), A. Hunphries (Aquatic Water Quality Specialist, Golder Associates Ltd.), B. Blais (Aquatic Water Quality Specialist, Golder Associates Ltd.), T. Coughlin (Aquatic Water Quality Specialist, Golder Associates Ltd.), A. Bachteram (Aquatic Ecologist, Golder Associates Ltd.), Z. Kovats (Aquatic Ecologist, Golder Associates Ltd.), D. Pritchard (Program Director, Golder Associates Ltd.), M. Digel (Program Advisor, Golder Associates Ltd.), K. Mindus (Wildlife Technician, Golder Associates Ltd.), P. Bedell (Geotechnical Engineer, Golder Associates Ltd.), K. Salzsauler (Geochemist, Golder Associates Ltd.), K. DeVos (Senior Geochemist, Golder Associates Ltd.), C. McPherson (Sediment Quality Specialist, Golder Associates Ltd.), S. Metikosh (Fisheries Biologist, Golder Associates Ltd.), T. Shepherd (Fisheries Biologist, Golder Associates Ltd.), D. Robertson (Fisheries Biologist, Golder Associates Ltd.), D. McCallum (SHE Manager, Snap Lake Mine, De Beers Canada Inc.), J. Ash (Permitting/Environmental Superintendent, De Beers Canada Inc.), G. Seto (Senior Environmental Coordinator, De Beers Canada Inc.), A. Boulanger (Environmental Technician, De Beers Canada Inc.), F. Kotchilea (Environmental Assistant, De Beers Canada Inc.), D. Flemming (Environmental Technician, De Beers Canada Inc.)

Objective(s): The objective of the environmental monitoring program is to fulfill the requirements outlined under the Snap Lake Mine's Land Use Permit, Water License, Environmental Agreement, and Fisheries Authorization, and to meet De Beers’ corporate commitments on the environment.

Project Description: The environmental monitoring program will cover an assessment of aquatics (benthic invertebrates, fish, water quality, plankton, and sediment quality), hydrology, geochemistry and North Pile environmental inspection & geotechnical assessments, wildlife, vegetation, air quality and archaeology.

The aquatics program involves the monitoring of; water quality, sediment quality, zooplankton, phytoplankton and benthic communities, fish, fish habitat and fish health as outlined under the June 2005 Aquatics Effects Monitoring Program. Additional fish monitoring studies at the diffuser will be conducted as part of the fish habitat compensation program.

The hydrology program includes the monitoring of lake levels, streamflow, and outflows through the use of dataloggers; the measurement of site runoff at on-site Surveillance Network Program (SNP) monitoring stations; and the download and processing of hydro-meterological data to calculate lake evaporation for the water balance analysis.

The geochemistry program is part of the annual Acid Rock Drainage (ARD) program as required under the Water License and presented in the October 2005 Ore Storage, Waste Rock, and Processed Kimberlite Management Plan. The program requires an annual site inspection to monitor site runoff/seepage and review the placement of materials and identify any signs of acid generation. The North Pile monitoring program is also presented in this Plan and focuses on monitoring the geotechnical stability and temperature of the waste rock piles on-site. North Pile geotechnical investigations include geotechnical drilling.

The wildlife program consists of monitoring program of caribou, grizzly bear, wolverine, wolf, falcon
(peregrine falcons and gyrfalcons), waterfowl, and upland birds (passerines, ptarmigan) through hair snagging or visual surveys (ground or aerial) to evaluate the direct and indirect effects of mining activity. (Under the Wildlife Research Permit).

The vegetation monitoring program consists of assessing the area of impact of Mine activities on vegetation, assess changes in the Ecological Land Classification units of vegetation within the local study area and esker quarry area and also involves monitoring permanent plots in test and control areas to determine species composition and plant health, and the effect of various reclamation methods on re-vegetation and soil properties. This program includes the collection of lichen and vascular plants to measure potential contaminant uptake levels from areas in proximity to dust fall.

The air quality monitoring program involves the collection and processing of meteorological data from the onsite weather station, and the download and measuring of particulate matter and dustfall from sampling stations on site.

Underground water quality and quantity will be monitored as per the Water License and corporate
commitments, which also includes fracture, grouting, and drill-hole management (including monitoring existing drill holes within Snap Lake).

An annual archaeology flyover is conducted, where required of the site.

De Beers has been proactive in providing information to local communities as the Mine has developed.
Discussions have been held from 1998 to the present with the following communities who have completed Impact Benefits Agreements (IBA)with DeBeers: Yellowknives Dene First Nation, Tlicho Government, the North Slave Métis Alliance, and the Lutsel K’e Dene First Nation. Members of these communities have also participated as field assistants, where possible, in the implementation of the various environmental monitoring programs.

Aboriginal Communities also partake in the Snap Lake Working Group (SLWG); a multi-stakeholder group chaired by representatives from the Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board (MVLWB) and consisting of De Beers, federal and territorial regulatory agencies, and Aboriginal community members. The mandate of the SLWG is to review and provide recommendations on the environmental monitoring and management plans that fall under the jurisdiction of the MVLWB.

Aboriginal Communities also partake in the Snap Lake Environmental Monitoring Agency (SLEMA); a group comprised of our IBA Aboriginal governments, DIAND and GNWT. This group acts as the community watch dog that monitors all of our licences and is mandated under the Environmental Agreement.

De Beers believes that projects should benefit and add to the sustainability of local communities. Socioeconomic development is a primary focus through community participation in employment. Some of our IBA initiatives include the Education is Forever in Wha Ti Mezi Community school, contribution to the Northwest Territory Industrial Mining Skills Strategy project and Aboriginal Skills training(Kimberlite Career Centre), and participation in the Books in the Home Program.

The following websites provide more information on our community policy and social initiatives to contribute to the communities in which we operate.

Results of these studies are summarized in annual reports as required under the Mine’s Water License and Environmental Agreement. These documents are circulated to the appropriate government agencies, members of the Snap Lake Working Group, and aboriginal organizations that are party to the Environmental Agreement. These documents are part of the Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board public registry. The public registry can be viewed at the Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board office or online at the Board’s website. A 200 word maximum plain language summary of the results for programs under the ARI permit is submitted to ARI.

The fieldwork for this study will be conducted from March, 2010 to December 31, 2010.