Faro Mine Remediation Project
The Faro mine site is an abandoned lead and zinc mine located 15 km north of the Town of Faro and within the Traditional Territory of the Ross River Dena Council, Liard First Nation, and Kaska Dena Council. It is also upstream from the Traditional Territory of the Selkirk First Nation.
Faro Pit at the Faro mine site.
The Faro mine operated from 1969 to 1998, when its last operator declared bankruptcy and abandoned the site.
The mine site has approximately 70 million tonnes of tailings and 320 million tonnes of waste rock that require remediation to protect human health, as well as the local land, water and wildlife.
The remediation of the Faro mine site is being led by the Government of Canada and the Government of Yukon. This includes representatives from Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada’s Northern Contaminated Sites Program and from the Assessment and Abandoned Mines branch of the Government of Yukon’s Department of Energy, Mines and Resources.
The First Nations involved are the Ross River Dena Council, Liard First Nation, Kaska Dena Council, and Selkirk First Nation. A key aspect in managing the site and the remediation planning has been ongoing consultation and engagement with these First Nations.
The financial responsibility for the site resides with the Government of Canada who provides funding for care and maintenance operations and remediation planning through the Federal Contaminated Sites Program.
Since 2003, the federal, territorial and First Nations governments have been collaborating on the development of a remediation plan for the Faro mine site.
The Grum Sulphide Cell on the Faro mine site is an example of a remediation project that occurred in 2010. The waste rock was re-sloped and covered with geotextile liner to keep water and air out. The area was then covered with soil and re-vegetated.
In 2009, the federal, territorial and First Nations governments reached a consensus on a preferred option for the remediation plan for the Faro mine site.
A detailed engineering design is being developed for the remediation plan which will then undergo environmental assessment and regulatory approvals.
Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada’s Northern Contaminated Sites Program is leading the development and finalization of the remediation plan.
To learn more, visit INAC’s Northern Contaminated Sites Program.
Care and Maintenance
In 2009, the Government of Yukon took over the responsibilities for care and maintenance operations at the Faro mine site.
Care and maintenance operations address short term risks at the abandoned mine site which may pose a risk to human health and safety and the environment.
The core of care and maintenance operations is managing water on the site.
To learn more, visit the Government of Yukon’s Assessment and Abandoned Mines Branch.
One of the water monitoring locations at the Faro mine site.
These five overarching objectives guide the entire planning and remediation process and ultimately define the desired results of the remediation plan:
- Protect human health and safety.
- Protect and, to the extent practicable, restore the environment including land, air, water, fish and wildlife.
- Return the mine site to an acceptable state of use that reflects pre-mining land use where practicable.
- Maximize local and Yukon socio-economic benefits.
- Manage long-term site risk in a cost-effective manner.
Water monitoring and data collection at site.
© 2017 Government of Yukon