By The Canadian PressA report released Tuesday by the Canadian Institute for Mining and Energy (CIMEA) found that as many as 1,800 mines in the Northern Territories have experienced at least one of three types of data mining incidents over the past three years.
The CIMEA report, which covers mining incidents in the northern territories, found that in the past five years, there have been at least 11 incidents at Iron Mountain, 10 at Iron River, 10 in Fort Chipewyan, nine in Silverton, seven in Nechako and four in the town of Tofino.
The most recent incident took place on May 19.
The incidents occurred when workers discovered evidence of coal dust or other mineral deposits in the mine.
The CIMFA found that these mines have experienced problems in the last three years, with three of them experiencing at least four incidents in 2016 alone.
The report also noted that many of the incidents were triggered by workers leaving the site unexpectedly, leaving the area without adequate cleaning.
“In one incident, workers were asked to leave their vehicle and leave the site without a proper cleaning,” the report said.
“This is not the first time the mines have encountered this problem, and the latest incidents were not due to a natural occurrence.”
The mine, which operates for a subsidiary of Canadian National, reported $1.5 million in losses in 2016 and $1 million in 2017.
The company said the issue was addressed in January and that its mine management team will meet again to discuss the root causes of the problems.
Iron Mountain mine in Fort Macleod.
(Canadian Press)In 2016, a total of 10 incidents were identified, including four of which were in the Silverton area.
The two in Fort McMurray were not linked to the Silver River mine.
In 2017, the company said it identified an incident in which workers inadvertently spilled coal dust into a water well.
“We take every incident seriously and are continuing to address the issue as part of our remediation process,” the company wrote in an email.
In addition to Iron Mountain and Fort McMoor, the mine has been hit by three other incidents over its past six years.
In 2015, a mine worker left the mine with coal dust that contained asbestos, the CIMERA report said, but the incident was never linked to Iron River.
The 2016 incident, which took place near Silverton in the Athabasca National Park, also left a hole in the floor of the mine that blocked water for hours.
In 2017, a worker who left the site with coal ore left the area with asbestos and the CIMEEA said it is investigating that incident.
The most recent Coal Creek mine incident took up residence in Nechesako, according to the CimeEA.
The company is investigating the incident, according the report.
There were two incidents in Fort Tecumseh in 2017 and two in Nochako in 2016.
The mines are operated by the same subsidiary, and a spokesman for the company, Peter Ladd, told the Canadian Press in an emailed statement that they “have been working closely with the government and local authorities” to address any incidents that may have occurred at their mines.
The Northern Territories Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Resource Development said it’s “committed to ensuring that mines and sites comply with regulations and safety standards.”