Spill cleaned up near Meadowbank mine, says Agnico Eagle

Investigation continues into cause of tractor-trailer rollover

Meadowbank mine near Baker Lake. Agnico Eagle says a coolant fluid, oil and gas spill that occurred near the mine is cleaned up, pending soil and water analysis. (Photo courtesy of Agnico Eagle)

By Nunatsiaq News

Updated at 3:15 p.m.

Crew members of Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd. have cleaned up a spill near Meadowbank mine, says the company.

The spill is the result of a tractor-trailer rolling onto the side of an all-weather access road on Sept. 8, about five kilometres from the mine, which is located near Baker Lake.

The tractor-trailer was carrying two sea containers with one container carrying coolant fluid and the other containing oil, said Carl Charest, a spokesperson with Agnico Eagle. Charest added each container was 20 feet long, which is roughly the length of a shipping container.

The amount of the coolant spill was 9 cubic metres of coolant fluid, which is roughly the size of a large sedan, according to Agnico Eagle. The company also said that 2.6 cubic metres of oil was spilled, which is roughly the size of a couch, and 50 litres of diesel fuel, which is roughly the size of a garbage can.

An emergency response team arrived at the crash 15 minutes after receiving a call, Agnico Eagle said.

But before Agnico Eagle can say the area is no longer contaminated, soil and water samples will need to be verified by a government-approved inspection company. This work is underway.

Charest says the driver and passenger involved in the crash, both from Baker Lake, are expected to fully recover from minor injuries.

To remove the contaminants, Charest said the crew dug a trench around 1.75 metres deep around the area of the spill. The ground removed was then replaced by similar soil from a nearby quarry.

The Kivalliq Inuit Association evaluated and approved the process by which Agnico Eagle completed the spill cleanup, Charest said, adding the company must also follow spill removal protocols set by federal government agencies.

The KIA did not respond to a request for comment.

The road near the site of the crash will be a one-way lane and have a speed limit for the time being, as Agnico Eagle continues investigating why the tractor-trailer rolled over.

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