British Columbia Mine Reclamation Symposium

Site investigations and remediation : Yankee Girl tailings site, Ymir, BC Tinholt, M.; Sandstrom, N.; Sevigny, J.; Stewart, Gregg G. (Gregg Gordon), 1961-; Sinnett, G.


The Yankee Girl Gold Mine near the community of Ymir, BC operated from 1935 to 1942. As part of this historical mining activity, tailings were deposited adjacent the Salmo River and Wildhorse Creek. The Ymir townsite is located directly across the river from the site, resulting in the site being valued by the local community as a location for recreational activities. Site assessment work was initiated in 2004 by the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands (MAL) to address an Inspector’s Direction issued by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO). In 2005 through 2007, Morrow Environmental Consultants Inc. (Morrow) completed a supplemental detailed site investigation (DSI) and a refined Human Health and Ecological Risk Assessment (HHERA) to develop a comprehensive understanding of the extent, magnitude and significance of contamination at the site. The assessment confirmed that unacceptable human health and/or ecological risk existed at the site as a result of erosion of tailings into the Salmo River, leaching of metals and acidity into a side channel, residual spilled concentrate in soil at the mill area, and exposed tailings. Morrow then developed several conceptual options for site remediation. Several public meetings were held between 2004 and 2007 to present the assessment results and conceptual remedial options, and to consult with the stakeholders. Site remediation commenced in 2007 and includes consolidating the tailing and soil with residual concentrate within a secure on-site containment cell with erosion/flood control and aquatic habitat enhancement in the riparian areas adjacent to the site. Added value was found by incorporating the community’s desires for final land use into the remediation plan so that there will be ongoing beneficial use of the rejuvenated area and stewardship of the site.

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