Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Nunavut April 10, 2017 - 11:45 am

Agnico Eagle works to contain large fuel spill at Nunavut mine site

An estimated 30,000 litres of fuel spilled at Meliadine April 8

NUNATSIAQ NEWS
An estimated 30,000 litres spilled from Meliadine mine site’s 100,000-litre diesel storage tanks this past weekend. (PHOTO BY SARAH ROGERS)
An estimated 30,000 litres spilled from Meliadine mine site’s 100,000-litre diesel storage tanks this past weekend. (PHOTO BY SARAH ROGERS)

Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd. says it has contained a “significant” fuel spill at its Meliadine gold project outside of Rankin Inlet.

The mining company said the spill started April 8 as a leak from a hose on one of the mine site’s 100,000-litre diesel storage tanks, located on the road between the site’s mine facility and exploration camp.

An estimated 30,000 litres had spilled as of April 9, Agnico Eagle said in a release the same day. On-site staff were able to stop the leak and contain the spilled fuel to “a localized area.”

Now the impacted area is being excavated to remove contaminated material, AEM said.

But so far, Agnico Eagle says there is no evidence of the diesel reaching any fresh water sources.

The company has notified federal and territorial authorities, including the Kivalliq Inuit Association, while it continues to investigate the cause of the spill.

Agnico Eagle recently announced plans to move ahead on its Meliadine project.

The company said in February that it will invest $900 million over the next three years to bring Meliadine into commercial production by 2019, along with a new deposit at its nearby Meadowbank gold mine.

The company estimates Meliadine’s lifespan at 14 years, during which time it expects to produce at least 5.3 million ounces of gold.

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(12) Comments:

#1. Posted by Sad on April 10, 2017

Sad to see - Meliadine Lake was always used as a very reliable fishing spot for Arctic Char year round for Chesterfield Inlet residents and more recently by the people of Rankin Inlet.  I hope they clean up the dirty mess as much as they can eventhough it will now be forever contaminated.

Super sad!

#2. Posted by In Rankin on April 10, 2017

The cost of having Mining sectors in the north… anywhere for that matter - environmental damage… inevitable. #1 Meliadine Lake (Tasirjjuaq) has always been used as a fishing and camping lake for Rankin residents (only 17km)

#3. Posted by betty on April 10, 2017

Yea #1 chestefiled people drove 4 hours to meliadine to get fish passing many other lakes on the way that are closer with even more fish. did you not read. the lake is not contaminated. Negative always trumps everything. Alls going to be fine. Its contained. And no i dont work there or for them. Just tire of negative crap all the time on every single story put on line.

#4. Posted by Tommy Moses Adams on April 10, 2017

I agree with the negativity of the posts regarding this spill. The mining company did the proper thing by finding the source and containing the spill. They will learn from this and work to prevent future spills.

The federal government will ensure that the site is effectively cleaned up and leave the spill site with no danger to humans and wildlife.

#5. Posted by Time on April 10, 2017

Yes, #2 - community of Rankin Inlet didn’t exist until 1950’s when the Nickel mine was first established.  Before, during and after that, Chester residents always fished there since “time immemorial.”

#6. Posted by In Rankin on April 10, 2017

Yes, #5 - there were Inuit living around here (not only from Chester) before the mine existed; they were called… Inuit smile

#7. Posted by Up side down on April 11, 2017

Come on #4, there were only 2 post above yours concerned about the oil spill.  What were they to say yahooo! 

It’s good to hear other points of view. You may think they are negative.  They may think your thinking is troubling and up side down.

For a mine to last 14 years, wouldn’t you want high standards?  From any mine and especially from a company who operates mines world wide. Shouldn’t they already know how to prevent oil spills, not just learning from this oil spill? It’s not complex.

Gov wants mines. KIA gets $ payments from mine.  So it is sort of like foxes looking after the hen house. Which makes one nervous about the future safety of the tailing ponds, if up side down ho-hum thinking continues.

#8. Posted by witness on April 11, 2017

tank farm is nowhere near a lake and everything was dug up and cleaned, in other words it’s done and over with

#9. Posted by pissed off on April 11, 2017

Please give the people at the mine the benefit of the doubt.

Also remember that this spill is being looked after by a company that is very well checked by the authorities.

At the same time they have on hand more qualified personel and equipment that the Gov of Nunavut or Canada could ever put together on a short notice.

These are competent and concerned people. The last thing they want is for a problem like this to make them look bad.

remember other spills involving hamlets, GN or the power company and how poorly they dealt with it most of the time. This is not the case here.

Thanks

#10. Posted by Trickler on April 11, 2017

If it’s on a downslope, traces of diesel fuel will trickle down and contaminate the lake that is full of Arctic Char and Lake Trouts, which are super sensitive to contaminants….regardless of how skillful AEM employees are in cleaning up spills.

#7:  “For a mine to last 14 years, wouldn’t you want high standards?  From any mine and especially from a company who operates mines world wide. Shouldn’t they already know how to prevent oil spills, not just learning from this oil spill? It’s not complex.”

Yes, lucky seven, you have that right!!

#11. Posted by questions on April 12, 2017

#9 -

You want us to give the benefit of the doubt to the mining industry? That is pretty much the opposite of the precautionary principle, ie. that we should err on the side of caution when we have incomplete information.

I find it odd that we have had no media comment from either the GN or the Federal Govt. What do we pay all these civil servants for if they can’t inspect a big spill like this one?

Where is KIA? the silence is deafening. Lack of leadership in the Kivalliq. You can be pro business but cmon, do your due dilligence guys

#12. Posted by Idiots on April 12, 2017

Poster pissed off:  30,000 litres of spilled diesel fuel is nothing to dismiss or make light of especially when there are fish in the lake!

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