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Equity Silver

Innovative solar-powered system allows real-time remote tailings monitoring

Quick Facts
Location Northern British Columbia
Ownership 100%
Mine Closed 1994
Status Ongoing treatment of water

Goldcorp acquired Equity Silver in 1996 with the purchase of the Canadian Placer Dome mining assets from Barrick Gold. Located in northern British Columbia, the complex operated from 1990 to 1994. Mining was in three open pits and one small underground mine. Ore was milled using cyanide leach.

Two of the open pits have been flooded, and one has been filled with mine rock. Three mine rock storage areas have been capped and revegetated. The plant has been dismantled and capped. The tailings impoundment is flooded.

The main focus at Equity Silver is on treating acid rock drainage and managing the tailings dams to prevent any leaking into the environment.

We’re testing an automated monitoring system at one of the tailings dams, which will enhance our ability to manage the site, reduce risks around safety and the environment, and provide an added level of assurance to members of surrounding communities and other stakeholders.

The system includes a solar power source, data loggers, radio monitoring stations, automated survey station, weather station, digital cameras and strategically-placed sensors and prisms to monitor and capture up-to date information on water levels, pore water pressure, structural integrity of the dam, and other important parameters that ensure dam safety and reliability.

Incidents that trigger sensors immediately generate an email or text to trained personnel on and offsite, who can access readings in real-time and view a live video camera feed at specific locations.

We work with the local We’Suwet’en First Nations and the Equity Mine Public Advisory Committee (EMPAC) as we monitor and maintain the closed site, and run tours every year to talk to schools, colleges, government and industry about our experience with acid rock drainage.