Northern Ontario’s Steep Rock Mine water to overflow by 2070 – by Jeff Walters (CBC News Thunder Bay – April 20, 2016)

The problem is decades away, but th Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry wants to figure out the best way to control water that will eventually overflow the former Caland and Hogarth open pit iron ore mines, in northwestern Ontario.

The Caland mine, about three kilometres north of Atikokan, Ont., has two pits, the Caland and Hogarth. Water in the Caland pit is of a fairly high quality, while the Hogarth pit is contaminated with mining waste.

The MNRF projects the two pits will overflow in 2070. Graeme Swanick,the Executive Lead on the Steep Rock Mine Rehabilitation Project, said the process will take decades. “So we expect rehabilitation of the Steep Rock site is going to unfold over a long period of time.”

“The conceptual approaches that have been put forward will serve to improve water quality over time, to a point where it can be released into the adjacent waterbodies, around 2070. So, good water quality is the end goal.”

Swanick said the MNRF is looking into six options.

1. Natural Recovery of the pit lakes with gravity flow to the Atikokan River via Strawhat Creek

2. Enhanced natural recovery with gravity flow to the Atikokan River via Highland Lake

3. Enhanced natural recovery with pumping water from Hogarth Pit to Lower Steep Rock Lake

4. Consolidation and capping of mine waste above the final flood elevation with water treatment and pumping to Lower Steep Rock Lake

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