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  • NIRB File No:


  • Application No.:


  • Project Type:

    Mine Development

  • Project Name:

    Agnico Eagle Mines Meadowbank Modification - In-Pit Tailings Disposal

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Agnico Eagle currently places all tailings at the Meadowbank Mine in the Meadowbank Tailings Storage Facility (within the former Second Portage Lake northwest dewatered arm), where tailings have been deposited sub-aerially as slurry and water from the ponds reclaimed during operation. Since mining began, Agnico Eagle has continued to evaluate alternative options for tailings deposition, in order to ensure that best practices are followed and to ensure appropriate long term planning to optimize the site footprint. In 2016, the Meadowbank Dike Review Board (the MDRB), an Independent Geotechnical Expert Review Panel established in accordance with Type A Water Licence No: 2AM-MEA1525, supported the use of early in-pit tailings disposal as an appropriate alternative in addition to current practices at Meadowbank Mine. Specifically, in-pit disposal of tailings has advantages with respect to health and safety, quality of life, water, air, capital cost, technology, natural hazards and adaptability. The MDRB accepted that in-pit disposal would be recognized as the best available technology. As a result, Agnico Eagle is now proposing to dispose of tailings in three pits, Portage Pit A, Portage Pit E, and Goose Pit, all within the footprint of the assessed and approved Meadowbank Mine. The In-pit tailings disposal in the Portage and Goose pits will not increase the project footprint, and will occur entirely within existing pits that have already been impacted by ore extraction. This method of tailings disposal will require the continued use of various existing project components, including the following: • pits and dikes to segregate operations from Third Portage Lake and Second Portage Lake; • the reclaim water barge; • the tailings deposition barge; • the reclaim water treatment plant; and • tailings thickener (this is under evaluation). The modification will also require an extension of the slurry and reclaim water piping. Agnico Eagle confirms that based on its engagements to date, its understanding is that this modification can proceed in accordance with existing approvals. Agnico Eagle has not identified any amendments to Project Certificate No. 4 or Type A Water Licence No. 2AM-MEA1525 in order to proceed with the In-pit Tailings Disposal modification. Before proceeding, the In-pit Tailings Disposal modification will require a formal Modification notification to the Nunavut Water Board pursuant to the conditions of the water licence. The current planned timeline for commencing the in-pit deposition of tailings is April 2018.

Assessment Phase / Activity
  • Started project monitoring 2018-04-13
  • NIRB Ltr to parties requesting comment on potential project certification reconsideration 2018-04-13
  • NIRB Notice to Parties re comments received 2018-05-07
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Notifications sent: NIRB Notice to Parties re comments received

2018-05-07 15:47:47

NIRB 125253 / 03MN107: Comments Received for Agnico Eagle's Proposed “In-Pit Tailings Disposal Modification” Project


    Dear Parties;

    As you are aware, on April 13, 2018 the NIRB requested comments regarding Agnico Eagle Mines Limited's (Agnico Eagle or Proponent) “In-Pit Tailings Disposal Modification” and Modification to the Meadowbank Gold Mine Project (NIRB File No. 03MN107). The NIRB requested that these comments be provided by May 4, 2018.

    Please be advised that on or before May 4, 2018 the NIRB received comments from the following parties:
     Kivalliq Inuit Association (KivIA)
     Government of Canada (GoC)

    All materials received and pertaining to Agnico Eagle’s project proposal can be obtained from the NIRB’s online public registry at by using any of the following search criteria:
     Project Name: Agnico Eagle Mines Meadowbank Modification – In-Pit Tailing
     NIRB File No.: 03MN107
     Application No.: 125253

    Should you have any questions or require additional information, please contact Sophia Granchinho, Manager, Impact Assessment, at (867) 857-4829 or

    Best regards,

    Andrea Omilgoitok
    Environmental Administrator

    Nunavut Impact Review Board
    P.O. Box 1360 (29 Mitik)
    Cambridge Bay, NU X0B 0C0
    Direct: (867) 983-4600
    Fax: (867) 983-2594
    Toll free: 1-866-233-3033

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