The Environment

Zero Harm is a goal that applies equally to our workplace and to our natural environment. We understand the importance of the Arctic tundra environment and, through careful planning and consultation with our stakeholders, seek to preserve it today and for generations to come.

The Ekati mine operates under several environmental permits and agreements guided by different regulatory bodies:

  • Type A Water Licence issued by the Wek’èezhìi Land and Water Board
  • Environmental Agreement between the Government of Canada, the Government of the Northwest Territories, and the company
  • Five Fisheries Authorizations issued by Fisheries and Oceans Canada
  • 282 mining leases, 10 surface leases, and eight Type A Land Use Permits

To fulfill the terms of these environmental responsibilities, many environmental monitoring programs are conducted every year. Monitoring programs in 2016 included: air quality monitoring, aquatic effects monitoring, reclamation monitoring, Pigeon Stream Diversion monitoring, wildlife effects monitoring, as well as a surveillance network program and a waste rock and waste rock storage area seepage survey.

The company employs a full-time Advisor for Traditional Knowledge to liaise with Aboriginal communities, seeking meaningful engagement with Elders and youth around mine site operations and programs like the Wildlife Effects Monitoring Program and the Community Engagement Program. Both programs were designed to provide hands-on experience with the mine’s environmental monitoring programs. Elders, youth, and land users also actively participate in wildlife observations, behavioural scans, and site surveys, and provide valuable input on environmental programs.

As part of its commitment to the environment, the Diavik mine is a signatory to an environmental agreement with local Aboriginal groups and the federal and territorial governments.

Photo of an employee at the Long Lake Containment Facility

Almost 98% of water used at the Ekati mine is recycled from the Long Lake Containment Facility.