De Beers - Gahcho Kué Environmental Monitoring Program
Principal Investigator: Kramers, Patrick (2)
Licence Number: 16214
Organization: De Beers
Licensed Year(s): 2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010
Issued: Jan 16, 2018
Project Team: Rob Mellow, Ryan Marshall, John Faithful

Objective(s): To collect data on air quality, geochemistry, hydrology, sediment quality, fish, aquatic resources, dust fall, vegetation and soil information at the Kennedy Lake and adjacent watershed areas.

Project Description: The objective of the proposed studies is to obtain information on the environment once Project activities commence to determine potential project effects.

The proposed studies will include the collection of air quality, geochemistry, hydrology, water and sediment quality, and fish and aquatic resources, dustfall, vegetation and soil information. The studies (further defined below) are designed to monitor the area around Kennady Lake and adjacent watershed areas, which has the potential to be affected by the mine. A series of lakes in the Lockhart River watershed will be used as reference lakes to provide reference data to support future long-term monitoring programs for the Project.

The air quality monitoring program will include:
•collection and processing of meteorological data from the onsite weather station; and
•collection and processing of data from local sampling stations for particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide (NO2).

The geochemical monitoring program will include:
•site audits; and
•collection of supplemental samples for geochemical testing.

The Aquatics Effects Monitoring Program (AEMP) will include studies on hydrology, water and sediment quality, plankton, benthic invertebrates, fish health, and a downstream flow program. These programs were designed to monitor aquatic effects of the Mine, verify and update the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) predictions, and inform management decisions made by the Mine.

The hydrology component may include:
•snow course surveys; and
•hydrometric surveys including water level and discharge measurement.

The water and sediment quality component may include:
•collection of seasonal water quality data; and
•collection of sediment quality data in the open water season.

The plankton component may include:
•collection of phytoplankton, zooplankton and chlorophyll a over three sample periods during the open water season.

The benthic invertebrate component may include:
•collection of benthic invertebrates during the open water season.

The fish health component may include:
•small-bodied fish health surveys in lakes and streams using various sampling methods, such as small-mesh gill netting, angling, baited minnow trapping and shoreline electrofishing; and
•fish tissues and whole-body samples of both small and large bodied fish may be collected for chemical analysis.

The downstream flow component may include
•fish spawning, movement (including visual assessment and physical measurements of depth and velocity) and tagging studies may be conducted after ice out; and

The dust, vegetation, and soil monitoring program may include:
•collection of dustfall from May to September for the analysis of total dust and metals composition; and
•revisiting established vegetation and soil monitoring site to record plant species composition and abundance and assess local soil microclimate conditions.

De Beers Canada Inc. has been proactive in providing information to local communities. De Beers visits multiple communities annually to provide an update on mine activities and to receive feedback from community members. De Beers also hosts a delegation of members from each Aboriginal party at the mine site each year and initiates participates in multiple other engagement opportunities throughout the year. Surrounding communities have the opportunity to participate as field assistants, where possible, in the implementation of the various environmental monitoring programs, as described in this application. Involved communities include the Yellowknives Dene First Nation, Tlicho Government, the North Slave Metis Alliance, Northwest Territory Metis Nation, and the Lutsel K'e Dene First Nations. Additionally De Beers participates in Ni Hadi Xa, an Aboriginal led environmental monitoring initiative. This initiative involves environmental monitoring by Ni Hadi Xa at the mine site, and traditional knowledge gathering in the surrounding region.

De Beers has and will continue to host meetings in affected communities to provide updates on program results.

The fieldwork for this study will be conducted from Janurary 16, 2018 to December 31, 2018.