Obed Mountain Mine spill update

November 22, 2013
News Releases

YELLOWKNIFE (November 22, 2013) – The Alberta Environment Support and Emergency Response Team has advised the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) that:


  • The leading edge of the sediment plume was about 22 kilometres upstream of Fort McMurray as of 3 p.m. yesterday
  • Average speed of the plume yesterday was 1.9km/hr.
  • The plume reached Fort McMurray this morning and is expected to reach Lake Athabasca between November 29 and December 3, 2013.
  • Visual confirmation of the plume can no longer be distinguished from air due to ice conditions.
  • Turbidity levels within the plume are dropping.  This is making the plume less distinct from background turbidity levels in the river.
  • It is possible that at some point Alberta Environment will no longer be able to track the plume. Monitoring equipment will be used to determine the length of the plume.

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The GNWT and Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada continue to work together to liaise with the Alberta regulators to assess the situation and monitor water in the NWT.

Updates will be provided on an on-going basis and we will continue to keep downstream communities informed.

The Alberta Government Water Quality Results report can be found online at:  http://alberta.ca/release.cfm?xID=3539774C6DBCD-A9D5-D0DE-96F3F3060C090544.

Sherritt Coal, owner of the Obed Coal Mine, is posting regular updates on its remediation actions and results of water quality sampling online at:  www.obed.ca.

For more information:

Judy McLinton
Manager, Public Affairs and Communications
Environment and Natural Resources
Government of the Northwest Territories
Tel:  867-873-7379
Email:  judy_mclinton@gov.nt.ca