Energy, Mines and Resources

Assessment and Abandoned Mines




Fact sheet on Remediation Planning Process  258 KB

Glossary of Terms

Acid Rock Drainage: Acid-generating waste rock and tailings are commonly referred to as acid rock drainage or ARD. During mining, rock is disturbed and metals contained in the rock become exposed to oxygen and the environment. This can lead to the creation of an acidic environment which can be transported by water.

Adit: An opening driven horizontally into the side of a mountain or hill for providing access to a mineral deposit.

Asbestos: A strong and incombustible fibre widely mined in the past for fireproofing and insulation.

Care and Maintenance: Describes the ongoing activities such as site inspections, water monitoring and treatment, site safety and security to protect human health, safety and the environment.

Closure: Term used by mining industry to describe a period of time when the extracting activities at the mine site have ceased but the final decommissioning of the site infrastructure, and reclamation of disturbed areas has not been completed.

Contaminant: Any physical, chemical, biological or radiological substance in the air, soil or water that has an adverse effect. Any chemical substance with a concentration that exceeds background levels or which is not naturally occurring in the environment.

Devolution Transfer Agreement (DTA): The agreement outlining the transfer of “province-like” responsibilities from the federal government to the territorial government.

Diversion: An artificial or "human-made" channel that changes the natural course of a creek or a stream.

Gabion: A basket or cage filled with earth or rocks and used in building a support or abutment.

Independent Peer Review Panel (IPRP): The panel is composed of highly-recognized industry experts whose qualifications and experience collectively cover the fields relevant to the remediation planning such as geotechnology, mining, mineral processing and environmental engineering, toxicology, hydrogeology, risk assessment, and public health. The IPRP assesses and validates whether the remediation options proposed can address a site's issues.

Milling: The process used to separate metals from ore.

Open Pit Mine: A form of operation designed to extract minerals that lie near the surface. Waste, or overburden is first removed and the mineral is broken and loaded.

Ore: Rock that contains sufficient quantities of metals or other minerals to allow profitable extraction.

Pit: A large hole created when ore and waste rock is removed from the ground.

Receivership: A situation where a company, the receiver, is placed in a custodial position to manage the assets, property, rights and affairs of another organization.

Reclamation: The process of converting disturbed land to its former or other productive uses.

Remediation: The process of treating or removing contaminants from a site for the protection of human health and the environment.

Serpentinite: A rock consisting almost completely of magnesium, iron and silicate hydroxide. Asbestos is found in serpentinite rock and was used for numerous industrial functions.

Tailings: Rejected material from mining and screening operations is known as tailings. The waste material left after the metals have been removed from the ore by the milling process.

Type II Mine Sites: The Yukon has seven mine sites which were identified at the time of devolution as having the potential for unfunded environmental liabilities if abandoned without proper closure. They are referred to as Type II Mines under the Devolution Transfer Agreement [1.4 MB], which provides key principles for management of these sites.

Waste Rock: Rock of little economic value that must be removed to access the ore is called "waste rock."

Water licence: Issued by the Yukon Water Board, an independent tribunal under the Waters Act, outlining the terms and conditions for the use of water or the deposit of waste into water.

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