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TitleGeoenvironmental characteristics of Canadian critical metal deposits / Caractéristiques géoenvironnementales de gisements métalliques critiques au Canada
DownloadDownload (whole publication)
LicencePlease note the adoption of the Open Government Licence - Canada supersedes any previous licences.
AuthorParsons, MORCID logo
SourcePublic presentations: Environmental Geoscience Program, current status of research projects, May 2017; by Jacob, N; Ahad, JORCID
logo; Gammon, P; Rivard, CORCID logo; Kao, HORCID logo; White, DORCID logo; Parsons, MORCID logo; Galloway, JORCID logo; Geological Survey of Canada, Scientific Presentation 70, 2017 p. 89-110, Open Access logo Open Access
PublisherNatural Resources Canada
Mediaon-line; digital
RelatedThis publication is contained in Public presentations: Environmental Geoscience Program, current status of research projects, May 2017
File formatpptx; pdf
ProvinceCanada; British Columbia; Alberta; Saskatchewan; Manitoba; Ontario; Quebec; New Brunswick; Nova Scotia; Prince Edward Island; Newfoundland and Labrador; Northwest Territories; Yukon; Nunavut; Canada
NTS1; 2; 3; 10; 11; 12; 13; 14; 15; 16; 20; 21; 22; 23; 24; 25; 26; 27; 28; 29; 30; 31; 32; 33; 34; 35; 36; 37; 38; 39; 40; 41; 42; 43; 44; 45; 46; 47; 48; 49; 52; 53; 54; 55; 56; 57; 58; 59; 62; 63; 64; 65; 66; 67; 68; 69; 72; 73; 74; 75; 76; 77; 78; 79; 82; 83; 84; 85; 86; 87; 88; 89; 92; 93; 94; 95; 96; 97; 98; 99; 102; 103; 104; 105; 106; 107; 114O; 114P; 115; 116; 117; 120; 340; 560
Lat/Long WENS-141.0000 -50.0000 90.0000 41.7500
Subjectsenvironmental geology; economic geology; geochemistry; mineralogy; hydrogeology; Health and Safety; environmental studies; environmental impacts; mineral deposits; carbonatites; metals; rare earths; niobium; mining; tailings; mine waste products; groundwater; surface waters; water quality; water quality analyses; trace metals; uranium; thorium; radionuclides; radium; lead; limnology; geochemical analyses; spectrometric analyses; water wells; alkalinity; fluorine; oxygen; planning; St. Lawrence Columbium Mine; mitigation; Mitigation; Environmental standards; Environmental management
Illustrationsphotographs; location maps; aerial photographs; satellite images; graphs; geoscientific sketch maps; profiles; flow diagrams; photomicrographs
ProgramEnvironmental Geoscience Management
Released2017 09 14
AbstractThe extraction and processing of critical metals such as niobium (Nb) and the rare earth elements (REEs) has led to environmental degradation in some parts of the world, but there are few published studies of these environmental impacts and related risks to human health. Recent studies in Quebec by the Geological Survey of Canada (GSC) are providing new geoscience knowledge on the geoenvironmental characteristics of Nb and REE deposits. This knowledge should help to reduce the environmental risks of future development of these important resources.
In FY 2016-2017, GSC scientists collected samples of mine waste, surface water and groundwater at the abandoned St. Lawrence Columbium mine in Oka, Quebec to better understand the distribution, transport, and fate of metals and radionuclides at this former Nb mine. A gamma-ray spectrometer was used to measure the radiation emitted by decay of naturally occurring uranium (U) and thorium (Th) in the mine waste, and a TerraSpec Halo spectrometer was used to identify specific minerals. Seasonal variations in water quality were measured using instruments installed in groundwater wells, data loggers installed in two flooded pits, and water samplers deployed from a Zodiac in July and October 2016 and from the ice surface in February 2017.
Analyses show that mine site surface waters are weakly alkaline and contain low concentrations of fluorine (F), Nb, REEs, U, Th, radium-226, radium-228 and lead-210. The concentrations of these elements are higher in groundwater and in low-oxygen water deeper than 30 m in one of the open pits. This suggests that potentially hazardous elements in the local bedrock and mine waste are relatively immobile in well-oxygenated surface water but may be transported in deeper groundwater. Information from this project will be shared with the Municipality of Oka to help with long-term management of the mine site. The results will also help industry to improve environmental predictions for future Nb- and REE-mines and regulators to develop new environmental guidelines.
Summary(Plain Language Summary, not published)
To increase the program visibility, a public science presentation was offered to the entire department (NRCan) and key partners via Tandberg and NRCan live web on May 9th, 2017. All the Power Point Presentations (7) are included in this Scientific Presentation and key words associated to the research are as follow: oil sands, groundwater, shale gas, induced seismicity, geological storage, critical metal deposits and geoscience tools.

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