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Cantung Mine reports spill of up to 2,000 litres of tailings slurry

Between 1,000 and 2,000 litres of mill tailings spilled from a ruptured pipe at the Cantung Mine on the N.W.T./Yukon border earlier this month.

Spill was mixture of solid tailings and process water

A drilling production stope at the Cantung Mine, near the Northwest Territories/Yukon border. Between 1,000 and 2,000 litres of mill tailings spilled from a ruptured pipe at the mine earlier this month. (North American Tungsten)

Between 1,000 and 2,000 litres of mill tailings spilled from a ruptured pipe at the Cantung Mine on the Northwest Territories/Yukon border earlier this month.

North American Tungsten, which owns the tungsten mine, is under court-ordered protection from its creditors. In June, it owed $75.5 million to more than 200 companies.

A worker discovered and reported the spill on Aug. 9. The spill report says slurry leaked from a tailings line that runs alongside a roadway on its way to a tailings pond. The slurry contained both process water and tailings solids.

According to the report, the spilled solids were cleaned up, while the water seeped into the ground and could not be recovered.

The Government of the Northwest Territories is investigating the incident.

Earlier this year, 37,000 litres of partly-treated wastewater was spilled at the mine. No one from the company was available to comment on the most recent spill.

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