Before a new diamond mine can be developed, it is necessary for an environmental assessment (EA) to be completed and accepted by the regulatory agencies responsible for project approvals and licensing. De Beers Canada submitted an environmental assessment study for a major new diamond mine in Canada's Northwest Territories. This study was carried out by Golder Associates and relied on an integrated GoldSim model to assess the impacts of mining and site activities on site water quality.
Principal components of the model included Snap Lake, the mine, aboveground waste rock and tailings storage, point and non-point sources at the site, and a water treatment plant. By dynamically linking all of the mine site components, the key factors controlling water quality could be readily identified, and additional resources applied to those particular aspects.
The model proved to be an effective simulation environment for developing a comprehensive and technically sound Site-Wide Water Management Plan for the proposed mine, and, in addition, improved the communication of the EA methodology and results to the regulators responsible for licensing and application approvals.
Snap Lake Mine Site Water Quality Report: 2013 Update