Energy, Mines and Resources


Ketza: care and maintenance

Care and maintenance is the term used to describe the ongoing activities to protect human health, safety and the environment, and includes works such as site inspections, water monitoring and treatment, management of water conveyance systems, and site security.  Since 2015, care and maintenance operations at the abandoned Ketza River mine site are conducted year-round by an onsite care and maintenance operator.

Water Monitoring and Treatment

One of the main priorities for the care and maintenance operator is the implementation of a water treatment program during the ice-free season to reduce the level of arsenic leaving the site. The contaminated water is contained in the tailings pond and, once treated, is discharged back into the environment.
Water monitoring is conducted daily by the care and maintenance operator to ensure the water treatment is effective in reducing arsenic levels. In addition, monthly sampling is conducted and analyzed by an accredited lab to monitor for any longer term trends or changes.

Tailings Dam

The tailings dam stability is monitored by qualified engineers through annual dam inspections, in addition to regular maintenance inspections by the care and maintenance operator.

Site Access

Three free-span bridges were constructed and installed to allow safe access to the site. Onsite infrastructure was upgraded to include a medical unit and safety team, communications equipment, and camp and office facilities for the care and maintenance contractor.