Agnico Eagle fined $50,000 for 2013 spill

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Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd. will pay a $50,000 fine for failing to notify appropriate authorities in a timely manner after a sump-seepage incident at its Meadowbank mine in July 2013.

“This was an unfortunate event and we are taking the matter very seriously. Agnico Eagle has a rigorous environmental management system in place and we have taken steps to further improve upon it,” stated the company’s vice-president of Nunavut operations Dominique Girard in a news release.

“Our Nunavut environment management team has revised spill procedures and plans, including a new spills notification protocol that will be shared with all Agnico Nunavut employees and we remain deeply committed to environmental protection by ensuring that measures are in place to control our activities and minimize our effects.”

Upon detection of the seepage, the mine worked to control the seepage and samples were collected to analyze the water quality at the seepage location entering the lake. Toxicity tests confirmed that this water was non-toxic to trout and daphnia, according to the release.

Most recently, on April 8, Agnico reported a 30,000-litre diesel spill at its Meliadine site to authorities, informing the public the same day of steps taken.

“The company is also developing a remediation plan to treat the material removed from the area impacted by the spill,” according to a final update from the company April 24.

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Michele LeTourneau first arrived at NNSL's headquarters in Yellowknife in1998, with a BA honours in Theatre. For four years she documented the arts across the Northwest Territories and Nunavut. Following a very short stint as a communications officer with the Government of the Northwest Territories, Michele spent a decade at a community-based environmental monitoring board in the mining industry, where she worked with Inuit, Chipewyan, Tlicho, Yellowknives Dene and Metis elders to help develop traditional knowledge and Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit contributions for monitoring and management plans. She rejoined NNSL and moved to Iqaluit in May 2014 to write for Nunavut News. Michele has received a dozen awards for her work with NNSL.