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Giant Mine


The City of Yellowknife has been actively reviewing and providing recommendations on the Giant Mine Remediation Project for more than a decade. Throughout this time, the City has been present and engaged at every turn, seeking to ensure that the remediation meets our citizen’s expectations and needs. Three principles have guided our involvement:

  • A reclamation that will result in a healthy and safe environment that is valuable to our city.
  • Ensuring a clear and transparent plan to guide the reclamation.
  • Opportunity for northerners to participate in the remediation, ensuring that it benefits our citizens.

For further information please contact the City of Yellowknife at 

 1. City Staff Positions


1.a) Senior Administrative Officer

The role of a City Administrator is to provide administrative leadership by offering advice to Council and implementing Council's broad direction, as well as by coordinating interdepartmental activities, recommending  a current operating  budget to Council on an annual basis, in addition to administering  appropriate policy controls over all City programs, to ensure they are delivered within financial and legal parameters.  Ultimately, I'm responsible for the smooth and efficient operation of the Municipal Corporation, and in this role, look to explore and develop new, more effective ways of administering City programs. 

1.b) Director, Economic Development & Strategy

The Department of Economic Development and Strategy oversees economic development programs. The Director supports and leads in all City initiatives that reflect on the City's ability to communicate with Council and staff, our citizens, investors as well as people and businesses inside and outside our community.

 1.c) Director, Planning & Development

The Planning and Development Department has a broad range of policy, regulatory, and program responsibilities.  The Department administers the permitting process, as well as ensuring planned development meets the requirements of local regulations.  The Department consists of two Divisions:  Planning & Lands and Building Services.

The Planning & Lands Division coordinates and facilitates the planning, development, and disposition of lands within the City of Yellowknife.

 1.d) Director, Public Works & Engineering

The Department of Public Works and Engineering strives to provide cost-effective and responsive municipal services to the public within the policies, objectives and budget outlined by City Council. The Department delivers programs in two areas - the Works Division, and the Engineering Division.

 1.e) Giant Mine Coordinator

This position aides the City of Yellowknife’s engagement and participation in the significant amount of Giant regulatory events. The position ensures that the City’s perspective is included in the development of licenses, environmental plans and operational procedures. The position is supported by funding from Canada, with the City retaining outside contracting assistance due to the specific history of the project, and the intermittent and irregular work demands.

 1.f) Manager, Economic Development & Strategy


1.g) City Legal Counsel


2. Working Groups (Active)


 2.a) Giant Mine Working Group

This Working Group was established by the Giant Mine Remediation Project following the Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact Review Board Environmental Assessment on the Project (2013). The  primary purpose of the Working Group is to serve as a forum for stakeholders and interested parties to discuss and resolve issues related to the project. Important topics discussed in 2020 include review of the environmental Monitoring and Management Plans and the development of the outstanding Closure Clause.

Meeting Schedule: Monthly, irregular, on-going

City Lead: Giant Mine Coordinator


  • Environmental Monitoring and Management Plans Engagement
  • Closure Criteria Engagement

The schedule has been irregular during the water licensing period, with engagements and meetings on a much higher pace following the Minister’s decision. Meeting agendas over the last two weeks are provided below. Specific, formal City responses are also linked below.

Meetings / Engagements

 2.b) City of Yellowknife / Giant Mine Bilateral Meetings

Working level meetings between the Project and the City, providing an open dialogue on any issues or concerns. 

Meeting Schedule: Monthly, irregular, ongoing

City Lead: Senior Administrative Officer

As with the Working Group, schedules and the water license period had large impacts on the frequency and recurrence of this working group. 

Meeting Agendas

2.c) Aquatics Engagement Group 

The final draft Terms of Reference has been released and initial working sessions are being planned for late 2020. 

Meeting Schedule: Irregular

City lead: Giant Mine Coordinator


 2.d) Communications Working Group

This forum provides an opportunity for parties to collectively work towards improving communications. 

Meeting Schedule

  • February 28,2020
  • September 29,2020
  • October 29,2020

City Lead

Giant Mine Coordinator

 2.e) Perpetual Care Task Force

A requirement of the Environmental Assessment signed by the different levels of government, the indigenous parties, and Alternatives North, the perpetual care plan is intended to provide direction on site management after the remediation is complete.

Meeting Schedule: Monthly, regular, ongoing

City Lead: Giant Mine Coordinator

Meeting Agendas


3. Giant Mine Oversight Board (GMOB)

The City is one of six members of the Giant Mine Oversight Society, whose duty is to fulfill the mandate and carry out the roles and responsibilities found in the Giant Mine Environmental Agreement. GMOB is an arms length organization, with an independent Board of Directors. The City’s responsibility of participating in a number of specific meetings and reviews each year, including the annual meeting and annual recommendations.

Meeting Schedule: Quarterly, regular, ongoing

City Lead: Giant Mine Coordinator

GMOB Website

City Specific Submissions: Though the Board completes its work in an independent manner, there are occasions where there is specific interaction between the City and the Board.

City of Yellowknife response to GMOB 2019 Annual Report

4. Licensing & Regulatory

4.a) Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact Review Board

The environmental assessment took place over several years and featured distinct phases. The timeline provides a graphic representation of the process. Important City of Yellowknife submissions are linked in the tabs below. 

PDF version of Giant Mine Remediation Environmental Assessment Timeline

Meeting Schedule: Irregular but phased schedule, complete 2014.

City Lead: Director of Planning 

Registry Link

City Specific Submissions

 4.b) Specific Studies


4.c) Health Effects Study

The Health Effects Study was required under Measure 9 of the Report of Environmental Assessment. Commonly called the HEMP, it focuses on measuring arsenic and other contaminants in the residents of Yellowknife, Ndılǫ and Dettah. HEMP is a long-term project that will continue during the Giant Mine remediation to monitor how the remediation project affects the health of the communities. HEMP is led by Dr. Laurie Chan of the University of Ottawa, with the City acting as an advisor on the HEMP Advisory Committee.

City Lead: Giant Mine Coordinator

Meeting Schedule
  • January 17, 2020
  • February 14, 2020
  • March 13, 2020
  • May 15, 2020
  • June 12, 2020
  • September 11, 2020
  • November 13, 2020
  • General Links
  • Results Page

4.d) Hoèla Weteèst’eèdeè: Understanding Community Well-being Around Giant Mine Study

Commonly called the Stress Effects Study, its goal is to examine how living adjacent to a large contaminated site has affected choices, chronic stress, and related health manifestations across the life of the local residents. The study focuses on improving community well-being by building on the strengths of the communities by developing achievable recommendations that can be implemented to lessen the burden of stress associated with Giant Mine. The City is a member of the Advisory Committee.

City Lead: Giant Mine Coordinator

Meeting Schedule
  • January 29, 2020
  • February 28, 2020
  • March 27, 2020
  • April 24, 2020
  • May 29, 2020
  • June 30, 2020
  • July 31, 2020
  • October 8, 2020

4.e) Referral

After an appeal from the Chiefs of the Yellowknives Dene First Nation, the City used its statutory powers to refer the Giant Mine closure to an environmental assessment.

4.f) Scoping

Scoping was a key aspect of the Giant Mine Remediation as a number of parties believed that the impacts of the mine and the consequences of those impacts extended beyond just the mine site. However, the Review Board disagreed and limited the scope to mine site.

4.g) Information Requests

There were a number of opportunities for the Parties to the process (such as the City) to request clarifications from the Remediation Project.

4.h) Technical Sessions

As part of the Review Process, there are formal meetings where the closure plans are critiqued and analyzed by the parties and the expert departments.

4.i) Hearing

A hearing was held by the Review Board to consider all of the available evidence to make final decisions regarding the closure plan.

4.j) Post-Hearing

The Review Board issued a final report containing the decisions that they have arrived at, along with recommendations and suggestions to mitigate impacts associated with the project. These include a number of Measures and Ongoing Studies.

4.k) Measures

Long Term Funding

Long term funding security is the single largest risk facing the project. During the Environmental Assessment the Review Board found that there was the significant risk associated with the current funding approach and directed the Project to commence a review. The review that was submitted to the Board made no recommendations and ALL parties involved found it to be deeply flawed. During the Water License hearing the City heard that the project had not completed its work on this matter and more would be forthcoming, though we’ve heard nothing more on the matter and remain concerned that this was an idle commitment. Past reports and City submissions from the ‘Measure 6 Working Group’ are provided.

Meeting Schedule: Non currently active

City Lead: Giant Mine Coordinator

  1. 2012 Giant Mine Perpetual Care Funding Options (YKDFN/Alt North)
  2. 2017 GMRP Measure 6 Report
  3. 2019 EA Measure 6 Final Report Letter
  4. 2019 Development of Options for Consideration for Long Term Funding For Giant Mine
Quantitative Risk Assessment

During the Environmental Assessment, the Review Board decided that it was critical to revisit and revise the original risk assessments presented during the EA process (Measure 5). The Giant project was required to build out from those initial risk assessments and complete a ‘Quantitative Risk Assessment’ where the process estimated the numeric risks associated with particular sequences of risks occurring.

While we believe that there are particular short comings with the effort – socio-economic and financial risk conclusions  (underestimating indirect economic consequences as a result of significant upset conditions at the site for example) - the result is a useful tool for the project to modify its long term approach to minimize risks to the citizens of Yellowknife.

The QRA occurred over two and half years, reaching a complete (though it uncertainly seems that the project will still be issuing a revised version) state in 2020.

City Lead: Giant Mine Coordinator

Meeting Schedule
  • Engagement Process for Giant Mine Quantitative Risk Assessment, May 25, 2018.
  • Quantitative Risk Assessment, Phase 2 Workshop Report, August 15, 2018.
  • Quantitative Risk Assessment, Phase 2 YKDFN Workshop Report, November 9, 2018.
  • Quantitative Risk Assessment, Phase 3a Workshop Report, November 28, 2018.
  • Quantitative Risk Assessment, Risk Acceptability Thresholds Workshop Report, February 4, 2019.
  • Quantitative Risk Assessment, Risk Acceptability Thresholds (Pt. 2) Workshop Report, March 28, 2019.
  • Quantitative Risk Assessment, Phase 3b Workshop Report, August 16, 2019.

A number of procedural reports (Engagement Strategy, Qualitative Screening Report, Acceptable Thresholds, etc.) produced during the QRA development process are included as appendices in the final document. Comments from City staff were provided through the process. Other information may be available upon request.

QRA Report

4.l) Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board  

The Land and Water Board permitting and licensing process is the venue where the project receives permission to implement their closure plan, through the regulation of land uses and release of waste into waters.

Meeting Schedule: Irregular but phased schedule, mostly completed

City Lead: Giant Mine Coordinator

Registry Link

Workplan (timeline)

Examples of documents/phases:

  • Submission
  • Compensation Claim
  • Post-License


 2008 Original Application

The first stage of the remediation was an application from the project to the water board in 2008.


After an Environmental Assessment, scoping is usually a straightforward event. However, due to changes to the reclamation plan and the time between the EA’s completion and start of the Water License there were live issues to be considered.


Though technically not a distinct stage, the Water License featured a step where impacted parties could apply for compensation for the impacts to water use and access cause by the project. 


 Application Review

After the application was deemed complete, the application package was released for review. Reviewers were lucky that the GMRP had allowed additional time to commence the review prior to submission. The review required reviewing a great deal of material and submitting comments in 7 themes, as laid out in the guide below.

 Technical Sessions / Information Requests

Unlike the EA, the information requests in the water license process arise from unresolved issues at the Technical Session.


Similar to the EA hearing, this is the formal process where the Parties seek to ensure that their concerns are addressed.

Post Hearing

Following the Minister’s approval, we are once again required to review the sitewide management plans and closure criteria, as well as the forthcoming Design Plans.

To be updated.

 Socio-Economic (Working Group & Advisory Body)

The Project released their 2016 Socio-Economic Strategy and in 2018 formed two bodies with the aim of helping to implement the necessary actions. The working group is a staff level body while the Advisory Body is a senior staff body with greater authority to make decisions.

Meeting Schedule: Monthly, regular, ongoing

City Lead

  • Working Group - Manager, Economic Development and Strategy
  • Advisory Body (Senior Staff) – Senior Administrative Officer.




Hours of Operation

Winter Hours effective following the Labour Day Weekend
until prior to the Victoria Day Weekend (September to May)
Monday to Friday: 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday: Closed

Summer Hours effective following the Victoria Day Weekend
until prior to the Labour Day Weekend (May to September)
Monday to Friday: 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday: Closed

Mailing Address & Phone Numbers

Yellowknife City Hall
4807 - 52 Street, P.O. Box 580, Yellowknife, NT X1A 2N4

Switchboard - (867) 920-5600
Mayor/City Manager - (867) 920-5634
Booking Clerk - (867) 669-3457
Municipal Enforcement (MED) - (867) 920-5630
After Hours (MED) - (867) 920-2737
After Hours (Public Works) - (867) 920-5699