Research & Teaching Faculty

Arsenic in Yellowknife, Canada

TitleArsenic in Yellowknife, Canada
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2005
AuthorsCullen, WR, Reimer, KJ, Koch, I, Ollson, CA
EditorReddy, RG, Ramachandran, V
Book TitleArsenic Metallurgy
PublisherMinerals, Metals & Materials Soc
ISBN Number0-87339-585-9
Keywordsarsenic, BIOAVAILABILITY, LEAD, remediation, risk assessment, SKIN-CANCER, SOIL, Yellowknife

The Giant Mine began gold production in Yellowknife, North West Territories, Canada, in 1948. Soon after this it was decided to store the arsenic trioxide dust from the smelter underground. The current situation is that the mine has now ceased operations leaving 260,000 tons of 78% by weight arsenic trioxide dust stored in 15 underground chambers. The first part of the talk will outline the management options that include leaving the dust in place or removing it to the surface where further processing or stabilizing would be required. The second part addresses the approach taken to assess risk associated with surface soil contamination from mining activities. Soils from Yellowknife were differentiated according to type and organic carbon content, and subjected to an extraction system modeling the human gastro-intestinal system. The solubility, or bioaccessibility, of arsenic in soils thus obtained were then used to estimate risk from human exposure to these soils. The incorporation of bioaccessibility allows more realistic estimations of risk to be made and, in turn, aids in the development of cost-effective cleanup options.

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