Webinar: Understanding the Impact of Climate Change on Abandoned Mine Sites in Canada

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March 15, 2021

Lessons Learned from Assessing Climate Change Risks at an Abandoned Mine Site: KamKotia: Climate change poses unique challenges and risks for orphaned and abandoned mine sites across Canada. The historical legacy of mining operations in Canada has meant that many abandoned or orphaned mines were designed and operated with little or no awareness of climate change or stringent environmental regulations. With support from Natural Resources Canada’s Climate Change Adaptation Program, the Climate Risk Institute recently completed a climate change risk assessment to develop and pilot a risk assessment framework for the former Kam Kotia copper and zinc mine located near Timmins, Ontario.

Glenn Milner, Engineering and Climate Risk Lead, Climate Risk Institute
Jackie Richard, Project Manager, Climate Risk Institute

Understanding the impact of climate change on abandoned mine sites: Evaluating dust monitoring methods and environmental fate and effects: Dust sourced from mining operations is a concern due to its potential to contain metals or metalloids. In this study, an abandoned mine site with apparent aerial erosion of the tailings area and with nearby water bodies was investigated to assess the transport and fate of metal-bearing mine dust into surface water. Through geochemical and mineralogical analyses including subsequent leaching experiments and the assessment of dust collected from a number of different dust sampling devices, this study is assessing a contamination pathway that has not been rigorously evaluated.

Amy Cleaver, Physical Scientist, CanmetMINING, Natural Resources Canada
Philippa Huntsman PhD, Research Scientist and Section Head, CanmetMINING, Natural Resources Canada

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