The front of the sediment path has now passed Fort McMurray and was last recorded flowing downstream at an approximate rate of 1.5 km/hr. The sediment path has dissipated to the point where it is nearly indistinguishable in the Athabasca River. Water monitoring along the River will continue during the winter with remote data sonde equipment already in place under the ice; readings are currently near normal levels.
Remediation efforts began several days ago at the creek delta where the release entered the Athabasca River. A crew continues to inspect the area for sediment. When any is found, a vacuum truck is being used to remove it.
To date, approximately 290 water samples have been collected by Sherritt and its consultants for analysis. This does not include additional testing being conducted by the regulator or continual real-time data being provided by data sondes.
Water-monitoring sites along the Athabasca River are being periodically shifted as the river freezes, in order to maintain sampling schedules.
Sherritt continues to respond to media requests, including a recent CBC television interview.
Sherritt is developing short- and long-term plans for the recovery of solids, impact assessments, sampling and monitoring, wildlife mitigation, remediation, waste management and mine wastewater management.
In the week following the release, Sherritt mobilized approximately 200 consultants and emergency-response workers, and shuffled 50 of its own employees and experts to supplement existing onsite staff and support emergency response. The number of workers onsite has since steadied out at approximately 100, following the initiation of remediation work. Further fluctuations in staff levels are expected as the remediation activities evolve.