Barkerville Gold Mine Environmental Support
Barkerville Gold Mines Ltd.
2017 – Ongoing
Barkerville Gold Mines Ltd. (BGM), a subsidiary of Osisko Gold Royalties Ltd., is actively developing gold properties in the historic Cariboo Mining District in east-central BC, east and southeast of the City of Quesnel. BGM’s properties include the Bonanza Ledge (BL) Mine, the undeveloped Cariboo Gold Project, and Quesnel River (QR) Mill (processing facilities and tailing storage).
The BL mine has been operating since 2014, initially as an open-pit operation but the Mines Act permit was amended in 2016 to allow for underground operations (BL Phase I), which started in 2017. In 2018, BGM started preparing for a joint permit amendment application to include expanded operations through the development of BL Phase II. This Project entered the regulatory review process in Fall of 2019. The Cariboo Gold Project was acquired by BGM in 1995 and activities have focused on defining the resource. In 2019 the Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) for the project was filed.
Cariboo Gold Project hydrogeological baseline characterization was undertaken in 2017 to support a Mines Act exploration permit application and consisted of drilling, packer testing and installation of six monitoring wells to a maximum depth of 315 m below ground surface. Boreholes were drilled to a depth of 10 m below the proposed exploration ramp and packer tests were conducted within each hydrostratigraphic unit to assist in developing a conceptual hydrogeological model and provide a preliminary understanding of the groundwater flow regime.
BL Phase II hydrogeological baseline characterization and permitting: Hatfield was retained by BGM to provide hydrogeological support during the 2018 permitting process, with this support currently ongoing in 2020. The hydrogeological support consisted of three phases, a supplemental hydrogeological field program to characterize groundwater conditions in the BL Phase II area (two monitoring wells and one vibrating wire piezometer nest), development of a numerical groundwater flow model to support permitting and effects assessment of BL Phase II expanded operations and closure design, and ongoing hydrogeological permitting support.
QR Biological Monitoring Program: QR is required to monitor the potential impacts of discharge to the receiving environment. In 2019, Hatfield developed a Biological Monitoring Program (BMP) which uses a spatially tiered approach to evaluate potential effluent effects on water quality, sediment quality, and biota (benthic invertebrates and periphyton) in the receiving environment.
QR Environmental Assessment Predictions were undertaken by Hatfield in 2020 as part of the Phase II permit application. Data outputs from surface water quality models were used to predict potential issues to the aquatic receiving environment at QR. Endpoints evaluated in the receiving environment included water, sediments, benthic invertebrates, and fish.
Cycle One EEM Design for QR: QR Mine became subject to water quality monitoring requirements in late January 2019 under the Metal and Diamond Mining Effluent Regulations (MDMER). In 2020 Hatfield designed the first cycle of this EEM program, which included water quality, periphyton biomass, benthic invertebrate community, fish health and fish community surveys.
Annual Water Quality Reporting for QR and BL: Annual Water Quality Reporting was undertaken for Quesnel River and Bonanza Ledge. These annual reports are required to meet the requirements set out in the respective permits of each mine.