Mine Principale restoration project in Chibougamau

Step in the procedure

Certificate of authorization issued on August 22, 2014.

Amendment to the certificat of authorization issued on October 21, 2020.

Information on the projet


Ministère de l’Énergie et des Ressources naturelles (MERN)

Reference number


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Project summary

The Ministère de l’Énergie et des Ressources naturelles (MERN) plans to restore the abandoned Principale mine site, for which it is responsible. The mine was in operation for more than 50 years, but has been inactive since the mid-2000s. The purpose of the remediation in to ensure human safety, limit the spread of harmful substances, restore the site to an environmentally acceptable condition, make the site compatible with future uses such as recreational tourism or hunting and fishing, and minimize post-remediation monitoring and maintenance work.

The site consists of the former operations area, three tailings facilities, a polishing pond and two zones in Lac aux Dorés. There are various sources of contamination on the site. The main ones are the tailings and rock waste, which are acid-generating and spread contaminants throughout the site, the presence of soils contaminated with hydrocarbons on the old operations area, and garbage, debris and cinders throughout the site. The contamination is due to the presence of contaminated water and to wind erosion. The main sources of contaminated water are the tailings sites and the old operations area.

  • Amendment of the certificate of authorization to describe the modifications made to the concepts in relation to those put forward in the initial application for a certificate of authorization to allow the deployment of technically realizable and effective solutions in order to ensure the site’s long-term restoration and securing. Amendment to the certificate of authorization issued on October 21, 2020.

Details on location

The site to be restored is 5.4 km south-southeast of Chibougamau and 38 km east of Chapais. It lies within the municipality of Chibougamau and within the territory of trapline O-59 of the community of Oujé-Bougoumou.


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