Project: Care and Maintenance
Care and maintenance is the term used to describe the activities that are ongoing at the Faro Mine Complex to protect human health, safety and the environment while a closure and remediation plan is finalized.
On March 1, 2009, the Government of Yukon took over the responsibilities for managing the Faro Mine Complex from the court appointed interim receiver, Deloitte and Touche. As a result, a new care and maintenance contract was awarded to Denison Environmental Services. The care and maintenance contract is a three-year, $21.6 million contract.
A big part of care and maintenance is monitoring water quality and collecting/treating contaminated water, making sure that water leaving the site meets acceptable standards and is safe for the environment. Another big job is keeping roads, buildings, dams and stream channels in safe working condition.
Care and maintenance activities provide training and employment opportunities for affected Yukon First Nations and other Yukoners.
The following information focuses on how and why water quality is monitored.
Denison Environmental Services produces a quarterly newsletter on Care & Maintenance activities. They can be found on the Library page.
Site staff routinely collect information on weather conditions, water, stream sediments, fish, benthic organisms and the stability of mine structures and facilities. Information about air quality, plants, soils and animals is also collected periodically.
There are over 300 active monitoring sites for water quality with more than 1000 water quality samples collected annually in and near the FMC. Samples are tested by independent, certified laboratories and are measured for more than 30-50 different substances such as zinc (Zn) and lead (Pb).
For water, zinc (Zn) is the substance of most concern as it is one of the metals that was mined at the FMC. Zinc-bearing rocks occur in many areas of the Yukon and zinc is often present at low levels in streams and lakes, dissolved in the water. Zinc is a natural element that most animals and plants need in small amounts to be healthy. But, if the level of zinc in streams, rivers and lakes gets too high, it can affect fish and other organisms.
Mining activities can increase the chance of zinc moving into water at levels high enough to become a contaminant and cause problems. Therefore, we need to monitor zinc levels to make sure that water leaving the site is safe for the downstream environment.
The information collected in the various monitoring programs is used to guide care and maintenance activities and to provide information that is important to the final cleanup. Monitoring programs provide valuable information about the local environment, current site conditions, and any changes or trends in site conditions. It also helps to measure how well management activities are working to protect human health and the environment.
Water quality monitoring data from eight points at the Faro Mine Complex are available for viewing. Please note that most of the points on the map are monitoring water which remains on the Faro Mine Complex site. Rose Creek is the only point where water is released into the environment. To view the maps with the monitoring points and the data graphs, click here.
On This Page...
Care and Maintenance
- What is care and maintenance?
- What sorts of activities are done as part of care and maintenance?
- What is measured?
- Why is water quality measured?
- Can I view the water quality monitoring data?