De Beers to address concerns about Snap Lake water in Lutsel K'e
Treated mine water pumped into the lake where the community fishes
De Beers will be visiting Lutsel K'e, N.W.T. Tuesday to address concerns from some community members about the water in Snap Lake.
The company pumps treated water from the mine into the lake. The water is free of sediment and matches the lake's natural pH balance, but it is high in mineral salts.
De Beers is asking the Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board to raise the acceptable level of mineral salts in Snap Lake.
Peter Unger, manager of wildlife, lands and environment for the Lutsel K'e Dene First Nation, says people from the community still fish at Snap Lake, but they might stop doing that if the taste of the water or fish changes.
"Even if it is not toxic for human health, there's definitely a change in perception which, for Lutsel K'e, is a significant impact," he says.
Unger says De Beers has not adequately consulted Lutsel K'e about the changes it is seeking.
The Yellowknives Dene First Nation has made similar complaints about De Beers' engagement record.
The company did not respond to two requests for comments.