We’re bringing aquatic life and wetlands back to a mine site in Quebec

Restored habitats

The Lac Jeannine legacy mine site is the location for a major six-year revitalisation project intended to benefit both local people and the environment. Covering nearly 92 hectares of fish habitat and 41 hectares of wetlands, the resulting habitats will be of better quality and diversity than those that were lost during the expansion of the Mont-Wright tailings facility. They will be especially conducive to the survival of the brook trout, a sought-after species for recreational fishing.

 

Community support

The project received support from the Government of Quebec, the Innu First Nation communities of Uashat mak Mani-Utenam and Matimekush-Lac John, and the community of Fermont. It will start with the stabilization of the former tailings facility with a rockfill in 2020, followed by revegetation in 2021. Then, 18 weirs and dykes will help raise water levels over a 21-hectare surface area. The raised water levels will then encapsulate small, interconnected bodies of water, which will allow for the creation of a new, larger body of water—a nearly 70-hectare lake—and a significant increase in aquatic vegetation.

 

More space to move and live

These developments and the installation of spawning beds in the outfall of Lac Jeannine and in the basins will help ensure fish can move freely, expand their reproduction areas and improve overall habitat quality in the long term. Following the development of the infrastructure, there will be regular follow-ups to monitor the revitalization project’s performance over 15 years.