[Ontario Mining] How to destroy a lake without causing an uproar – by Nick Taylor-Vaisey (MACLEAN’s Magazine – July 17, 2018)


A gold mine expansion in northern Ontario will turn a small lake into a tailings pond. For many in the area, it’s a win-win.

A mining company in northern Ontario wants to expand a gold mine, “destroy” a lake—that’s Environment Canada’s word—where small fish take up residence, and do it all on land that straddles the traditional territory of two First Nations.

That may sound like a recipe for disaster given the litany of resource-based disputes between Indigenous communities, environmental groups and companies that want to rip stuff out of the ground.

But that’s not the story at Davidson Lake, where Alamos Gold Inc. and just about everyone who might cause a stink are happy to see the Young-Davidson mine expand—and the lake, which covers more than 200,000 sq. m, transform into a tailings pond.

The Young-Davidson mine is less than an hour’s drive from Kirkland Lake, a town not far from the Quebec border that’s been surrounded by gold mines for more than a century. Alamos opened the underground project in 2012, and over time discovered much larger gold deposits that could extend the facility’s life for upwards of 20 years.

That meant expanding it and finding a new “tailings impoundment area”—a nearby body of water that could handle the sand-sized pieces of waste leftover from the mining process, which splits gold from all the other materials carved out of the ground. A secure tailings pond is needed to stop potentially harmful waste from leaking into surrounding ecosystems.

For the rest of this article: https://www.macleans.ca/news/canada/how-to-destroy-a-lake/

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