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De Beers announced on December 15, 2016 that it will begin safely flooding the underground workings of Snap Lake Mine in early January 2017. The flooding project will take approximately six to eight weeks to complete, after which Snap Lake Mine will enter a long-term phase of care and maintenance (Extended Care and Maintenance) primarily focused on environmental monitoring activities. During the period, De Beers will run the mine based on the Extended Care and Maintenance Plan.
Before ultimately determining that putting Snap Lake Mine on extended care and maintenance was the most responsible and viable route forward, De Beers engaged with external parties interested in potentially acquiring the mine. However, no agreement could be reached.
Throughout Extended Care and Maintenance De Beers will continue to assess the Snap Lake Mine for:
- Reopening the mine;
- Further optimization of extended care and maintenance activities (i.e. Passive Water Treatment);
- Sale to a Qualified Operator; or
- Final Closure of the Snap Lake Mine.
SLEMA held its Core Group Meeting on December 16.
SLEMA, IEMA and EMAB jointly hosted the Annual Holiday Open House on December 9.
De Beers announced that Snap Lake Mine was being placed under care and maintenance effective Friday, December 4, 2015. De Beers intended to maintain a small workforce on the mine site who will be responsible for ensuring Snap Lake Mine continues to meet conditions of the Mine water licence and other requirements.
YKDFN, on November 2, 2015, advised SLEMA that the Chief and Council have appointed Alex Power to replace Rachel Crapeau at their Special Band Council meeting dated September 7, 2015, and Council Napolean Mackenzie to the SLEMA Traditional Knowledge Panel on behalf of YKDFN.
SLEMA held Executive Meeting on November 13, 2015.
SLEMA held the Annual General Meeting (2015 AGM) (morning) and Core Group Meeting in Yellowknife on October 15, 2015.
The MVLWB held a Snap Lake Working Group Meeting on North Pile activities, TDS removal, AEMP and Downstream Watercourse Special Study.
Fish Tasting Event will take place at the Snap Lake Mine site on September 10. SLEMA Annual General Meeting is scheduled to October 15.
One informal meeting of the members of the Liaison Committee was held in SLEMA office in Yellowknife on August 6, 2015. Board members and staff from SLEMA, staff from De Beers and staff from ENR attended the meeting. The topics include the format of Environmental Agreement Annual Report, Liaison Committee, and Incinerator Stack Testing / Regulation of Air Emissions.
The Minister of ENR, on July 24, 2015, invoked subsection 47(4) of the Water Act, extending the timeline for consideration on the amendment to Type “A” Water Licence MV2011L2-0004 by an additional 45 days, to September 16, 2015.
The MVLWB completed its regulatory process for the amendment of the De Beers Canada Inc. Type A Water Licence MV2011L2-0004 for the Snap Lake Mine, at Snap Lake, NT, submitted December 20, 2013. On June 8, 2015, a motion was passed by the Board to forward the amended Water Licence and Reasons for Decision to the ERN Minister for his approval. The MVLWB accepted De Beers proposed EQC with minor modifications.
The MVLWB sent the amended Water Licence MV2011L2-0004 and Reasons for Decision to the ENR Minister for his approval on June 19.
On May 4, 2015, and under subsection 37 of the Waters Act and 72.13 of the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act as delegated under Schedule A of the Delegation Instrument, the Minister of Environment and Natural Resources – Government of the Northwest Territories approved the amendment as De Beers applied for on November 12, 2014.
The MVLWB completed it regulatory process for the amendment of the Water Licence MV2011L2-0004 for the Snap Lake Mine, submitted November 12, 2014.
A motion was passed by the MVLWB to forward the Water Licence and Reasons for Decision to the ENR Minister for approval on March 30, 2015, and a letter was sent out to the ENR Minister on April 2, 2015.
A Public Hearing for the amendment applications submitted by De Beers on December 20, 2013 and November 12, 2014 was held in Dettah from March 11 to 12, 2015.
The MVLWB confirmed, on February 12, 2015, that the December 2013 and November 2014 Amendment Applications were exempt from preliminary screening.
The Technical Sessions for the amendment applications submitted by De Beers on December 20, 2013 and November 12, 2014, were held on January 22 to 23, 2015.
SLEMA visited the community of Lutsel K’e February 2nd and 3rd, 2012 and held three presentation sessions in the community. Presentations were given to the school in the afternoon of February 2nd, a presentation was given to the chief and council on the morning of February 3rd and to the community in the afternoon of the 3rd.