The Former Steep Rock iron mine is host to numerous piles of mine waste and tailings impoundments of varying mineralogy and complexity. It is located approximately 6 km north-northwest of Atikokan, Ontario. The two tailings areas studied at the Former Steep Rock iron mine imparted separate and unique chemical signatures on both groundwater and surface water. The reason for the chemical difference lies within the mineralogy at each site, as the mineralogy of the tailings directly controls the chemistry of both groundwater and surface waters. Iron oxide rich tailings produced sulphate-rich groundwaters with near neutral pH; however, these levels sulphate dramatically decreased in adjacent surface water. Pyritic tailings produced acidic groundwaters and surface water elevated in sulphate, major cations, metals (Al, Fe and Mn). Key parameters are elevated in groundwater relative to downgradient surface water receptors. This difference is a result of either precipitation of various mineral phases or dilution from groundwater.
Chris is currently working as Project Manager with True Grit Consulting Ltd. in Thunder Bay
For more details about this thesis contact Dr. Andrew Conly