Faro Mine: General Information
The Faro Mine Complex, with a footprint of over 25 km2, consists of three distinct areas: the Faro Mine area (incorporating the Faro Pit, disused mill, and associated buildings), the Rose Creek tailings impoundment situated in Rose Creek Valley, and the Vangorda Plateau (incoporating the Grum and Vangorda Pits).
The Faro Mine area and the Vangorda Plateau are connected by a 10 km heavy haul road. This road was used to truck ore from the Vangorda and Grum pits to the Faro mill for processing. The lead and zinc concentrates that were produced included economic quantities of silver and gold, and were shipped to international smelters via Skagway, Alaska.
What does the mine site look like?
The mine site is comprised of three main areas:
The Faro Pit is approximately 1,675 m long and 975 m wide, covering an area of 1.06 km2 with a maximum depth 335 m below the highest point on the pit wall. Surrounding the pit are piles of waste rock, amounting to over 260 million tonnes of material covering approximately 1.06 km square or 106 hectares. Faro Creek currently flows around the northeastern edge of the pit in a constructed, rock-lined diversion channel. The disused mill and associated buildings are located to the south of the pit.
Over 55 million tonnes of tailings are stored in the base of Rose Creek valley within an unlined containment area. The Rose Creek Tailings Impoundment area is approximately four km long and one km wide. Tailings were deposited between 1969 and 1992. A series of three dams hold the tailings in place, and a fourth dam holds contaminated water. Rose Creek flows around the tailings area in a rock-lined diversion channel.
The Vangorda Plateau is made up of two large open pits – Vangorda Pit and Grum Pit.
Vangorda Pit is approximately 1,150 m long and 350 m wide, with a maximum depth of 150 m. It is surrounded by over 16 million tonnes of waste rock. Vangorda Creek flows around the northwest side of the pit in a half-round culvert. There are approximately 16 million tonnes of waste rock piles surrounding the Vangorda pit covering approximately 0.4 km square or 40 hectares.
Grum Pit was designed to be approximately 1,100 m long, 700 m wide and up to 200 m deep – mining operations stopped before the pit reached its design dimensions. Surrounding the Grum Pit is the Grum waste rock dump, containing over 110 million tonnes of waste rock covering approximately 1.48 km square or 148 hectares.