Energy, Mines and Resources

Mount Nansen

Mount Nansen: Remediation

In Yukon, remediation of an abandoned mine site is an act of restoring the land and may include the process of treating or removing contaminants or stabilizing an area associated with a site.

Since 2003, Government of Yukon, Government of Canada and Little Salmon/Carmacks First Nation have been actively involved in a remediation planning process to develop and implement a final remediation plan for the former Mount Nansen mine site.

What has been done in the remediation planning process?

Since 2003, the Government of Yukon and the Government of Canada along with Little Salmon/Carmacks First Nation have been actively involved in the planning and development of a remediation plan for the abandoned Mount Nansen mine site.

Technical and scientific studies were conducted on the site to gain an understanding of the state of the site and the specific issues to be addressed.

This valuable information was used to develop appropriate remediation options and alternatives for the site. The viability of these options and alternatives were evaluated by an independent peer review panel who considered the feasibility of all of the options.

Public information sessions and workshops were held with Little Salmon/Carmacks First Nation and Village of Carmacks residents to provide feedback on the potential remediation options and alternatives.

In 2011, Government of Yukon, Government of Canada and Little Salmon/Carmacks First Nation conducted an evaluation process to determine which remediation option best met the objectives of the parties. 

In 2012, the three parties agreed on a preferred remediation option. The chosen remediation option is to backfill the pit with tailings and contaminated material, install a cover on the tailings, remove the dam and restore the valley. The three parties formally signed a Letter of Understanding confirming their selection of the remediation option.

In 2014, a 30% design was completed for the selected option. This design has been reviewed by the Government of Canada, Little Salmon/Carmacks First Nation and the Government of Yukon.

What are the remediation objectives for the abandoned Mount Nansen mine site?

The Mount Nansen remediation project's objectives are to:

  • Protect human health and safety;
  • Protect and restore the environment including land, air, water, as well as fish and wildlife and their habitat; 
  • Return the site to an acceptable state that reflects original, traditional and pre-mining land use;
  • Maximize local and Yukon and First Nation benefits; and,
  • Manage risk in a cost-effective manner.

What are the next steps in the remediation process?

In May 2016, the Yukon Supreme Court approved a sale of the the Mount Nansen site, including 56 mineral claims and Mount Nansen infrastructure and equipment.

The successful bidder in the sale process will be required to develop, finalize and implement a detailed remediation plan for the site. Prior to implementation, this plan will require an assessment by the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Board (YESAB).

The costs to implement the remediation plan would be paid by the Government of Canada.

The sale is being conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers Inc., the court-appointed receiver. For more information on the sale process, please visit PricewaterhouseCoppers inc.