South Bay Mine Remediation Project

Description: 

South Bay Mine operated an underground copper-zinc mining operation from 1971 to 1981 and produced a copper-zinc concentrate that was shipped off-site for further processing.  Over the life of the mine, approximately 785,000 tonnes of sulphide (acid generating) tailings were produced.  The tailings and waste rock associate with the mill site area leach acidic water with elevated metals, particularly copper and zinc.  Seepage from the site has acidified Boomerang, Mud and Armanda Lakes and is impacting Confederation Lake.

The Ministry has initiated a review of remediation alternatives to prevent the migration of contaminants to area lakes.  The recommended reclamation strategy for the site is the capping of the mill site area and the tailings area with a low permeability material to minimize the continued exposure of the tailings and waste rock to surface precipitation.  The ministry is also re-evaluating the option of relocating the tailings to the former Boomerang Lake to be permanently flooded.  Flooding the tailings would stabilize the sulphides and associated metals in the tailings and could provide a more robust long-term containment option than capping.

Once a preferred remediation plan is confirmed, the plan will be developed in detail and then implemented.   The objective of the remediation plan is to minimize the currently migration of metals and acidic seepage from the site into area lakes.

Location: 
South Bay Mine is located approximately 70 km northeast of Ear Falls in northwestern Ontario adjacent to Confederation Lake.
Map: 
This a map showing the location of the former South Bay Mine site in Northwestern Ontario, near Confederation Lake.
Status: 
In progress