The closure of a copper smelter in Timmins, Ontario included emptying three ponds containing approximately 288,000 m3 of acidic water (pH: 1.4-3.6) with a high metal content (maximum zinc concentration: 43,820 mg/L).
Sanexen was given the contract to design, install and operate a water treatment system on site. The acidic water was treated using a continuous feed of lime slurry produced on site. More than 10 km of 8-inch-diameter piping was installed for a dual purpose: pumping the raw water and lime slurry to the treatment pad and discharging treated water into the tailings management area. A total of 10 pumps were in operation during peak periods. The system was designed to operate in highly corrosive conditions upstream and to prevent scaling downstream.
Water treatment was conducted over two consecutive summers, and water was pumped out of the pond throughout the winter season.
Sanexen was awarded the Winisk contract to deconstruct the former radar control station in an environmentally sound manner, to transport regulated waste south and to build a confined disposal facility on site for demolition waste – all within a two-year period from the June 2011 start-up date. All of the equipment needed for the Winisk project was transported to the site by truck, along the winter road. The former Winisk site (Site 500) is located close to Hudson Bay within the traditional territory of the Weenusk First Nation (WFN).
Site 500, formerly used for military operations, contained petroleum storage tanks, derelict vehicles, metal-clad buildings on concrete base pads, a large hangar (a control tower and a 5,000-ft. gravel runway), a pumphouse, water and fuel pipelines, a fuel off-loading facility and scattered debris (metal, wood and plastic). Dispersed drums, several drum piles and a sewage system were also found on the site.
All work was carried out in collaboration with the WFN and specific tasks were executed by the Weenusk First Nation 500 Corporation, with Sanexen’s support.
Cape Dyer – DEW Line
On-site work in Cape Dyer, located in the Arctic Circle, began in early July 2011. The project, spread over three years and subcontracted to Sanexen by Qikiqtaaluk Logistics, proved to be a substantial logistical challenge.
Decontamination of deactivated DEW Line radar stations was a large-scale project for our partner, Qikiqtaaluk Corporation (QC). Economic development in Nunavut’s oil, gas, and mining sectors is a source of interesting business opportunities for companies operating in the environmental field. Sanexen’s professional resources and expertise in the fields of decontamination and management of hazardous materials, coupled with our partner’s thorough familiarity with the territory and Inuit values, helped ensure our strong positioning in the market.
Working jointly with QC, Sanexen is an active participant in the development of the local workforce, creating training programs that are adapted to clients’ needs and the specific nature of work carried out in these remote regions.