The Faro mine site is abandoned and is currently managed by the Government of Yukon with funding from the Government of Canada. The video Faro Overflight August 2015 shows what a small portion of it looks like.
The video shows one of three pits, the Faro Pit. Then there is the Haul Road leading away to the top of the screen (it goes to the Vangorda and Grum pits, both not visible in this video). Next we see the Down Valley Tailing Pond, and finally the dull orange of the Polishing Pond (it shouldn't be this colour, it should be clear).
A second video (Faro Overflight August 2016) shows essentially the same features but in reverse order. Credit to YCS/Lighthawk flight by Gerry Whitley over the contaminated Faro minesite. Starts in Rose Creek and proceeds upstream over the Cross Valley Pond and Dam, the Intermediate Pond and Dam, and concludes beyone the 4 km long Rose Creek Tailings Area. It is worth noting that the dull orange of the Polishing Pond has not improved over the past year.
The cost of the Faro mine cleanup is estimated ito be hundreds of millions of dollars and to take at least four centuries.
Faro Mine Water Test Results
One thing you won't find posted anywhere else are the water test results for Sept 2013 - Oct 2015. For your convenience they are posted here:
- Faro Mine Water Sampling Results - raw data only - May to Oct 2015
- Faro Mine Water Sampling Results - Dec 2014 to April 2015
- Faro Mine Water Sampling Results - May 2014 to Nov 2014
- Faro Mine Water Sampling Results - Sept 2013 to April 2014
Here is a map showing the location of the water sampling sites. It is taken from Investigations of Predictions for Acidic Drainage at the Vangorda Plateau, Faro Mine Complex (Faro, YT), MEND Report 1.70.1
Water test results prior to Sept 2013 do not appear to be available. The Faro Mine Remediation Project has started putting some limited water data online.
It’s on the Yukon Water Board website. Click on the Waterline button, then enter as a guest. Search for QZ06-075-1 (it will show up in the Closed tab). Click on it, then click on the Reports tab – the August 2016 results have been posted, with hopefully more to come. YCS will be releasing our interpretation of the more recent results shortly.
There’s an Environment Canada site that lists off-site water monitoring data (2008 to 2015, 2016 data coming soon) from a station about 10km downstream of the Faro Mine on Rose Creek. You can download site variable data (scroll down to see the button, or click here). Basically, Zinc concentrations increased in Rose Creek below the Faro mine in late 2013 and elevated concentrations continued until the last measurement in 2015. Concentrations exceeded the CCME guideline for aquatic life. Copper did not change during the same period.
Both the Globe And Mail (Jan 2017) and the National Post (Dec 2016) ran recent articles about the abandoned Faro mine. YCS submitted an op-ed to the Yukon News that summarized our interpretation of recent water test results.
Faro Mine Briefing Notes from Yukon Conservation Society January 2016
Faro Mine Water Sampling Results - raw data only- May to Oct 2015
Faro Mine Water Sampling Results - Dec 2014 to April 2015
Faro Mine Water Sampling Results - May 2014 to Nov 2014
Faro Mine Water Sampling Results - Sept 2013 to April 2014