Victoria Gold Corp fined for cyanide spill – Yukon News
The Eagle Gold Mine was fined for spilling cyanide and ordered to refurbish a newly constructed creek crossing.
The mine, operated by Victoria Gold, was inspected by the Yukon government on May 20.
Investigation revealed that a cyanide solution spill occurred on March 15. Sodium cyanide is used in heap leach mining to dissolve gold from ore.
According to inspectors’ comments, the 70-liter spill came from the mine’s heap leach facility. The inspector found that the spill could have been avoided had the company followed the protocols and practices approved in its cyanide management plan and standard practices and procedures for heap leach facilities.
The mining company was fined on summary conviction under the Environmental law for the release of contaminants and for not handling a hazardous substance in a manner that prevents contamination. According to chief mining inspector Matthew Jenner, two fines of $ 230 were imposed under sections 112 and 122 of the Environmental Act.
John McConnell, CEO of Victoria Gold, said in an interview that the cleanup of the spill took place in March, shortly after it was discovered on an access road.
Contaminated material from the spill site was dug up and returned to the heap leach facility, he explained. When other samples found traces of cyanide, he said the area was searched again and another test found no cyanide.
McConnell added that design changes have been made to the heap leach facility in an effort to prevent future spills.
The inspectors who visited the mine on May 20 also issued an immediate request for corrective measures for the construction of a culvert allowing the crossing of a creek on the mine property in order to protect the quality of the water.
“I understand that corrective action to remove overburden and contours has been taken. I also understand that VGCX has planted seed on the banks of the culverts (prior to the May inspection) in an effort to promote revegetation this summer and this area will be targeted in the VGCX revegetation program in the fall of September. », Indicates the inspection report signed by Jenner.
“I understand that the culvert crossing is scheduled for additional work this summer, as it requires an extension. VGCX has informed me that when the extension is completed on the crossing, VGCX is considering placing a stone guard to finalize the design of the Eagle crossing.
The installation of a barrier on a road leading to the mining property is a point of contention between Victoria Gold and the Government of Yukon. The May 20 inspection report indicates that a barrier installed by the mining company on the Haggart Creek public access road is not permitted under the company’s quartz license. He continues to say that the company has been urged to relocate the location of the gate allowing public access to nearby placer mines, hiking trails and other natural resources.
McConnell says the location of the barrier is in the interest of public safety, as the access road passes through the mine site where heavy machinery is used. Despite this, he said they were considering a reconfiguration of the gate. He added that the company has good relations with the placers miners in the area and allows them access through the gate.
The inspection also found that waste management at the Eagle gold site was in accordance with Victoria Gold’s permits, but that a new landfill site should be selected as the current site is approaching capacity. He found that the mine’s refueling centers were clean, tidy and in good repair.
Contact Jim Elliot at [email protected]