Located at the top of the Knipple Glacier on the south shore of Brucejack Lake in northwestern British Columbia, Pretium Resource Inc.’s gold mining camp is the very definition of remote. The camp is located 5,000 ft above sea level, surrounded by a rough, rocky terrain, in an area that is brutally cold and can receive up to 60 ft of snow in the winter.
With no method of wastewater treatment, the staff of 150 was using latrines that would often freeze and have to be relocated. The company looked to Bulkley Valley Eng. Services to design a more comfortable solution for its employees. The new system had to arrive preassembled and prepackaged, produce disinfected effluent and simple enough for camp staff to operate with minimal training.
Because the camp has no access to roads, rails or ports, the treatment system and personnel required for installation had to be flown in by helicopter. Because of the rocky terrain, the system had to be built above ground and kept from freezing during the cold weather.
Despite these limitations and temperatures that were well below freezing, the system was built, shipped and installed in two months, with a completion date of October 2011. And, according to Orenco, the system’s manufacturer, the camp has plans for expansion.
“This was an excellent project that was both logistically and technically challenging,” said Grant Denn, engineer and sales manager for Orenco. “Even so, we were able to provide a wastewater treatment system that gave the property owners the confidence to expand at this remote mining site: We recently shipped a third tank/treatment system to handle increased occupancy at Brucejack.”