Faro Mine was once the largest open-pit lead-zinc mine in the world. Spanning over 25 square kilometres, it is now the site of one of the most complex abandoned mine remediation projects in Canada. It is located in south-central Yukon, near the town of Faro, in the traditional territory of the Kaska Nation, and upstream from Selkirk First Nation. The Ross River Dena Council is the closest First Nation community to the site.
In February 2022, the Main Construction Management and Care and Maintenance services contract was awarded to Parsons Inc. for an initial amount of $108.2 million, covering Term 1 services until March 31, 2024. The contract is structured to accommodate the phased approach of the remediation plan, and includes options to extend through the duration of active remediation, which is expected to be completed by 2038. The Main Construction Manager and Care and Maintenance services contractor will work alongside a number of other contractors engaged by Canada. These contracts and standing offer include: Environmental Monitoring Services (EMS), Remediation Plan Design and Support Services (RPDSS), Regulatory Support Services and Geotechnical Support Services.
These contracts and standing offer, together with the Main Construction Management and Care and Maintenance services contract, will provide significant benefits for those in Faro and surrounding communities, including socio-economic benefits and capacity-building for local First Nations. The amount and length of work at the Faro Mine Complex will provide positive impacts to the local economy, including job creation. As part of Canada’s commitment to reconciliation, the RPDSS and EMS contracts include firm commitments by the contractor to ensure employment and training opportunities for Kaska Dena citizens and subcontracting to Kaska Dena-owned businesses.
The Environmental Monitoring Services contract was awarded on March 1, 2022, to Ensero Solutions Canada Inc. for an initial amount of $18.2 million, covering services until February 28, 2025. The contract has options to extend the contract period for up to 2 years. The EMS contract consists of conducting the monitoring programs on site, including assessing the quality and flow of water (surface water, groundwater, seep water and contact water). Within their contract, Ensero Solutions Canada Inc. will also be doing meteorological monitoring, ambient air monitoring, terrestrial and wildlife monitoring and will collect measurements from geotechnical monitoring instruments.
The Remediation Plan Design and Support Services contract was awarded on March 4, 2022, to AECOM Canada Ltd. for an initial amount of $31.7 million, covering services until March 31, 2024. The contract has options to extend the contract period until March 31, 2043. The RPDSS contractor is responsible for advancing the remediation plan through the design process and will ultimately be responsible for providing field support services during active remediation. This contractor will also provide design support services where required for ongoing site activities and will address urgent issues that may arise.
The Regulatory Support Services contract was awarded on May 20, 2022, to Golder Associates Ltd. for an initial amount of $3.15 million, covering services until May 19, 2025. The contract has options to extend the contract period for up to 2 years. The Regulatory Support Services contract mainly consists of supporting Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada through the Yukon Environmental and Socio-Economic Assessment Board process with the screening, reporting and decision phases. The contract will also address the application and review process of a Water Licence and Fisheries Act Authorization for the remediation of the site.
The Geotechnical Support Services standing offer was awarded on May 25, 2022, to Tetra Tech Canada Inc. for an initial amount of $4.5 million, covering services until May 24, 2025. The standing offer has options to extend the standing-offer period for up to 2 years. A standing offer is an offer from a potential supplier to provide goods and/or services at pre-arranged prices, under set terms and conditions, when and if required. It is not a contract until the government issues a call-up against the standing offer. The geotechnical team will complete engineering inspections of earthen structures (including dams, ponds, waste rock dumps, diversion channels, weir structures and pit wall surfaces) using visual inspection, instrument monitoring and photogrammetry to keep track of the condition, movement and safety of these structures on the site. The team will assess measurements from geotechnical monitoring instruments on site, which are used to help detect any changes happening within earthen structures over time. These include stream gauges, weir notches, ground temperature devices, piezometers and slope inclinometers.