The effect of mineral exploration on the natural environment is directly dependent on the manner in which exploration is carried out. Grassroots or early stage gold exploration involves surface exploration methods that are, for the most part, short term and relatively low impact. Nonetheless, without careful planning and an adequate understanding of local ecosystems there can be irreversible damage done, especially in areas underlain by permafrost. The Company’s consultants, Archer, Cathro & Associates (1981) Limited are recognized as leaders in environmentally sustainable exploration in northwestern Canada. ATAC has a Best Management Practice policy that recognizes relevant government regulatory requirements as a minimum standard.
All work is carried out under an appropriate government permit. The footprint of camps and work sites is restricted as much as possible to minimize disturbance. At the end of the exploration program, all materials, garbage and fuel containers are removed. If mechanized equipment is used, special attention is paid to reclamation of disturbed areas.
As a result of its consistently high environmental standards, ATAC was awarded the 2003 Robert E. Leckie Award for Outstanding Reclamation Practices in Quartz Exploration and Mining by the Yukon government. The citation states in part:
- In 2001, (ATAC) carried out exploration on the Golden Revenue property at Mechanic Creek. The area was heavily disturbed with many old trenches scarring the landscape. ATAC returned what was an unsightly area and a potential fire hazard back to its natural state. The reclamation activities undertaken by ATAC Resources Ltd. were a huge effort and they are without doubt worthy recipients of this award.”
The full text of the Leckie Award citation is available here