De Beers Canada Snap Lake Mine Environmental Monitoring 2021
Principal Investigator: McLean, Sarah C (1)
Licence Number: 16766
Organization: De Beers Canada
Licensed Year(s): 2021
Issued: Jan 15, 2021
Project Team: Michelle Peters

Objective(s): To collect environmental monitoring of wildlife (incidental observations only), vegetation, air quality, hydrology, and aquatics in the Snap Lake study area

Project Description: This licence has been issued for the scientific research application No.4858.

The objective of the project is to conduct environmental monitoring of wildlife (incidental observations only), vegetation, air quality, hydrology, and aquatics in the Snap Lake study area.

Methods used are outlined in the management and monitoring plans (aquatic effects monitoring program, water management plan [surveillance network program], wildlife monitoring program, vegetation monitoring program, air quality and emissions monitoring program, hydrology monitoring program) that have been approved under the water licence (MV2019L2-0004), land use permit (MV2017D0032), and the Environmental Agreement. These management and monitoring plans have been appended to this application.

Through this project the research team will collect data on the aquatic environment including benthos, plankton, sediment, water, and fish; and, conduct other research including air quality, vegetation, and incidental observations of wildlife around the Snap Lake Mine.

For the aquatic resources, research is conducted by boat and helicopter in and downstream of Snap Lake, as well as at the two reference lakes. For air quality research is conducted through passive sampling. For vegetation, research is conducted within the disturbed area of the mine.

Updates and results are communicated to NWT stakeholders and community organizations as per the approved Engagement Plan (under water licence MV2019L2-0004).

The Snap Lake Project has had an ongoing community consultation program since 1998. It is the intent of De Beers to continue this dialog during the life of the Mine. Discussions held to date include meetings with the Yellowknives Dene First Nation, Tlicho Government, the North Slave Métis Alliance, and the Lutsel K’e Dene First Nation. Consultation has focused on updating the communities on the activities at Snap Lake and the program results to-date, arranging for site visits by community members (if desired), and including members as assistants in field programs where possible. Discussions regarding traditional knowledge began in 2000 and this input was reflected in this program’s study design.

Sample results are communicated through the various annual reports submitted by the mine to the Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board and Snap Lake Environmental Monitoring Agency. These include the Wildlife Effects Monitoring Program Report, the Air Quality Annual Report, the Vegetation Annual Report, the Hydrology Annual Report, the Aquatic Effects Monitoring Program annual report and the Water License Annual report.

The fieldwork for this study will be conducted from January 15, 2021 to December 31, 2021.