Cleanup continues at oil spill site near Meadowbank Mine

Approximately 29,000 litres of oil spilled after tanker rolled over on road; freshwater not affected, feds say

An oil tanker truck rolled over on an all-weather road near Meadowbank Mine Nov 28. Initially, the spill was reported by Agnico Eagles Mines Ltd. at 20,000 litres, but in an update the federal government told Nunatsiaq News the spill was approximately 29,000 litres. (File photo)

By David Lochead

Monitoring efforts continue at the site of an oil spill that occurred more than a week ago near Meadowbank Mine, according to a spokesperson for the federal Department of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada.

“There is no indication that fuel has entered any freshwater body or exited the immediate spill area,” Vincent Gauthier told Nunatsiaq News on Thursday, adding that a water resource officer has been to the site of the spill.

On Nov. 28, a tanker truck rollover led to the spill onto an all-weather road near the gold mining complex owned by Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd.

Meadowbank is located about 110 kilometres by road from Baker Lake.

The company originally estimated it to be 20,000 litres in size, but the federal government has provided a revised estimate of about 29,000 litres. That’s enough oil to fill the 40-litre tanks of 725 passenger cars.

Agnico Eagle stated on Nov. 29 that the driver was not injured and the company had started an investigation into the incident.

Kivalliq Inuit Association released its own statement Dec. 1, advising that trenches have been dug in an effort to contain the spill.

It noted the spill has spread approximately 30 metres beyond the road, and that the closest body of water is 600 metres away. The remaining fuel was pumped into another tanker.

On Thursday, an Agnico Eagle spokesperson told Nunatsiaq News the analysis of what caused the incident is still ongoing.

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(3) Comments:

  1. Posted by Confused on

    Hope this doesn’t make a shortage of fuel again in Nunavut 🙁

    • Posted by Nah on

      Nah! GN buys fuel and delivers them to communities by ships. GN’s PPD incompetence and negligence causes fuel shortages in Nunavut.

  2. Posted by Bemused on

    “That’s enough oil to fill the 40-litre tanks of 725 passenger cars.”

    Given that the average passenger car is a sedan, and the average size of a sedan fuel tank is 45-65 litres, I’d question where the quoted number came from. And why a passenger car? Outside Iqaluit the most common passenger vehicle in Nunavut is a pickup (average tank size about 100 litres), so it’s equivalent to 290 pickups. Or 30 average home fuel tanks. Or 2 water trucks. Or were those numbers not impressive enough? Why not use the figure of 763 snowmobiles? Why not go with ATVs? That’s 2,320 of them!

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