Researchers at Yukon College are studying using northern bacteria to clean up contaminated mine sites.

PhD student Guillaume Nielsen is using local materials, like spruce chips and bio-char, to grow bacteria that remove heavy metals from water.

The Yukon Government and mining company Alexco Resources Corp support his research.

If his project is successful, Nielson says it could be used throughout the territory.

"We're working with Alexco Resources, so that means Keno Hill District," he said. "But the first results are very good and very positive, so if it keeps doing well we'll probably apply it to all kinds of historic mine sites."

This type of bioremediation project is a first for the Yukon but similar techniques have been successful in the south.