Point Lake Project
The Point Lake Project is located about three kilometers northeast of Misery Camp. The Point Lake open pit is in the development stage with mining operations slated to commence in late 2023. Northwest Territories Ministerial approval for the Point Lake open pit project was received in May 2021 and the access road and utility pad have been constructed. The fish out and Phase 1 dewatering of the lake were completed in summer 2022. The next steps in 2023, involve the completion of the dewatering stage and the construction of the waste rock storage area pads, followed by the pre-stripping of overburden prior to the commencement of full-scale mining 2024.
Burgundy Diamonds has collaborated and engaged with local communities and regulators to earn support and develop a plan to extend the mine life at Ekati and continue to provide benefits to the North through the Point Lake Project. Burgundy Diamonds is committed to executing the Point Lake Project in the most environmentally responsible and sustainable way and working with communities and regulators to ensure that all questions and potential concerns are addressed.
Point Lake Fish-out and Scientific Research
As part of the first stage of the process for the future development of the Point Lake open pit mine, Burgundy Diamonds' staff worked together with local community members to complete the fish-out of Point Lake in the summer of 2022. The fish-out involved scientific research along with a new data gathering method, Broad Scale Monitoring, which has proven to be more efficient and effective than what was used in the past. The project also involves a fish habitat revitalization task that will add biodiversity and sustainability to other waterbodies in the Northwest Territories. Ekati Diamond Mine continues to offer unique opportunities for communities to provide valuable Traditional Knowledge and partner with Burgundy Diamonds, as we gain important new information about the Arctic environment.
Point Lake Dewatering
The next stage of the project involves removing the water from Point Lake. Roughly half of the clear water from Point Lake was pumped into Lac du Sauvage during 2022. The remaining water that contains suspended solids is being pumped into King Pond Selling Facility and Lynx pit to provide an area for water with turbidity to settle and to facilitate the underwater remote mining trial at Lynx pit.
The upcoming stage of the project involves implementing the plan for the Point Lake Waste Rock Storage Area as outlined in the design report. The report is currently being reviewed and specifies the layout of the rock pile, which was designed in collaboration with community members to ensure minimal impact on caribou moving through the area. Once reviewed and approved, the report will include important details about how the rock pile will be constructed, how water seeping through the rock pile will be collected and tested, and how the rock pile will be handled at final closure of Ekati mine.
Wildlife Effects Monitoring Program
Burgundy Diamonds continues to protect the wildlife through its Wildlife Effects Monitoring Program. Traditional Knowledge holders have shared important information about caribou in the area and the relationship with the surrounding environment, which has been incorporated into our wildlife management programs. Behavioral surveys of groups of caribou, as well as focal surveys on individual caribou, are taken throughout the year near the mine. Surveys indicate that caribou near the mine spend most of their time feeding or bedded. At Point Lake, caribou movement is monitored in the work area, even throughout the break in dewatering over the winter. Presently, caribou movement through the area has been undisturbed and caribou continue to pass over the Lac du Sauvage Road. Burgundy Diamonds’ Caribou Road Mitigation Plan guides mitigation and monitoring when caribou are in proximity to the mine and near roads, including reduced speed limits and road closure triggers. Motion triggered cameras are placed along active haul roads to help assess road permeability to caribou movement and evaluate the usage of the constructed caribou crossing ramps.