Alberta company wins Faro mine clean up contract

Calgary-based Parsons Corporation has been chosen to look after the abandoned Faro mine site for the next four years.

Calgary-based Parsons Corporation has been chosen to look after the abandoned Faro mine site for the next four years.

The company will take over from Tlicho Engineering & Environmental Services, from the Northwest Territories, which was awarded the previous care and maintenance contract in 2012. That contract will expire on March 31.

Parsons was one of 10 companies that bid on the contract, and at $14.4 million, its bid was one of the lowest. Two of the other companies were based in the Yukon – Castle Rock Enterprises and Dena Cho Environmental and Remediation.

Parsons was chosen because of its “experience, leadership and cost-competitiveness,” wrote Energy, Mines and Resources spokesperson Jesse Devost in an email.

Devost said the care and maintenance contractor provides on-site services around the clock at the Faro mine site.

“Often, a large part of care and maintenance can be monitoring water quality, collecting/treating contaminated water and making sure that water leaving the site meets acceptable standards and is safe for the environment,” he wrote.

The contractor also keeps roads, buildings, dams and stream channels in safe working condition, and cares for idle infrastructure and machinery.

Devost said the contract also specified that training and employment opportunities for Yukoners and Yukon First Nations should be maximized.

The Faro mine produced lead and zinc for about three decades, until it closed in 1998. It was once the largest lead-zinc mine in the world. The federal government took over the site when the owner went bankrupt, and the mine has become one of Canada’s largest remediation projects.

Under the devolution agreement, the Yukon government has since taken over management of the mine site, with federal funding. The territory is now working on a closure plan for the site.

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