Remediation of Abandoned Ruttan Mine Underway


Work to remediate the abandoned Ruttan Mine in northern Manitoba is underway following the awarding of a $45-million contract to a Manitoba firm as part of an ongoing commitment to protect the environment and to clean up abandoned mine sites.

The Ruttan Mine, approximately 1,000 kilometres northwest of Winnipeg near Leaf Rapids, has been closed since 2002. The remediation is being undertaken by Dauphin-based Strilkiwski Contracting Ltd. (SCL) and involves a collection of contaminated water, improved drainage and a diversion of clean water away from the site. Work is progressing to ensure all contaminated water at the site is directed to the open pit, where it will be treated before it is discharged into the environment. The work also includes a covering of exposed tailings in tailings management areas.

“The SCL Project Team and dedicated employees are very pleased to be involved in this major endeavor,” said Gerald Strilkiwski, president, Strilkiwski Contracting Ltd. “It will create a positive effect on the environment while contributing a much-needed boost to the local economy by providing jobs to local and Indigenous workers and businesses.”

Approximately 30 per cent of the entire project has been completed, and 60 per cent of the covering material has been hauled and placed. The completion of SCL’s work is scheduled for the fall of 2022. A request for proposals is currently out for tender for water treatment and long-term surveillance of the Ruttan Mine. It is anticipated that 5.5 million cubic metres of water at the site will be treated each year for the next five years.
In 2000, Manitoba established the Orphaned and Abandoned Mine Site Rehabilitation Program to address public safety and environmental health concerns associated with orphaned and abandoned mines. Under the program, 149 former mine sites have been identified as orphaned or abandoned, inspected for environmental hazards and prioritized for rehabilitation.