Clerical Error Blamed for Diamond Mine's "Diesel Spill"January 23, 23
(IDEX Online) - A clerical error is being blamed after a leak of tailings (waste material) from the Ekati diamond mine, in Canada, was mis-reported as a more serious 12,000-litre diesel spill.
Owners Arctic Canadian Diamond Company filed an incident report relating to the spill last December.
But staff have since told Cabin Radio, the news channel for Yellowknife and the Northwest Territories, that it was a "copy and paste" error from an earlier incident.
A summary filed by Arctic Canadian reads: "At 16:30 PM on December 5, 2022, it was identified that the Koala Tailings line had spilt an approximate 12,000 L of diesel onto disturbed ground on the berm between the truck shop and the process plant. The spill
covers an approximately 50m2 area."
But it goes on to explain the root cause, which fits with a tailings rather than a diesel spill. It reads: "The section of the tailings line that cracked did not appear to have a heat trace system. This suggests that the tailings material likely froze in the pipe causing a pressure build up which ultimately resulted in the crack in the line.
A record published by Environment and Natural Resources at the Northwest Territories government describes the spill as 12,000 litres of "wastewater (sewage, mine tailings)".
Pic of the spill site from incident report filed by Arctic Canadian