Featured Project

Atlin Ruffner Mill and Tailings Water Diversion and Tailings Capping

Atlin, BC
Key Services
  • Soil and Groundwater Remediation
  • Excavation and Disposal
  • Groundwater Cutoff Walls (Surface Water Management)
  • Soil Screening and Segregation
  • Soil Stabilization
  • Installation and Operation of Groundwater Treatment Systems (Surface Water Management)
  • Excavation Shoring
  • Landfill Closure and Capping
  • Remediation and Capping
  • Mine Reclamation and Tailings Management
  • Mine Decommissioning and Closure
  • Water Treatment (management)
  • Habitat Protection and Restoration

The Atlin-Ruffner Mine Site, situated in Atlin, British Columbia, was a mining operation primarily extracting silver, lead, and zinc during the early 1900s, with intermittent activity continuing until the early 1980s. Milestone secured a contract for Phase 2 of the site’s remediation efforts, primarily centring on effective water management near the adit drainage, tailings pond, and sedimentation pond areas. 

 The primary goal was to reroute surface water and groundwater away from the tailings and sedimentation ponds, minimizing interaction between clean water sources and residual tailings. The project was meticulously executed in accordance with the specifications outlined in the mine closure permit and all applicable regulatory guidelines.  

Key Challenges
  • An extremely remote location that posed significant hurdles for access and the procurement of labour and supplies. 
Key Solutions
  • Milestone engaged in thorough pre-planning and site assessment to address access challenges and ensure proper measures, equipment, resources, and materials were selected prior to the start of work. 
  • Communication protocols and equipment were established to prioritize team member safety, including deploying portable radios, satellite phone lines, internet connections, and portable satellite phones. 
  • Incorporated provisions within the project scope to establish permanent access routes to the remote site, considering its challenging location.

Project Scope

  • Trident Creek Crossing – installation of culverted crossing to establish permanent access to the site
  • Adit Drainage Pipeline – installation of a pipeline diversion system to capture surface water discharge from the adit, and convey the water around the site;  
  • Interceptor Trenches – installation of two interceptor trenches upslope of the tailings pond and upper sedimentation pond to collect and convey shallow groundwater around areas containing tailings; 
  • Geomembrane Covers – installing geomembrane covers on the tailings pond, upper sedimentation pond and lower sedimentation pond to minimize infiltration of precipitation into the tailings  
  • Provision of all necessary health & safety measures, emergency response measures, site facilities and communications, labour, equipment and materials to complete the work scope. 

Indigenous Engagement: 


To successfully complete this remediation project, Milestone collaborated with local community resources, engaging with the Atlin Tlingit Economic Limited Partnership (ATELP), part of the Taku River Tlingit First Nation (TRTFN). 


To utilize manpower and equipment resources with local suppliers and the Atlin Tlingit Economic Limited Partnership to successfully navigate the challenges of working within a remote area and provide economic benefit to the local community. 


  • Engaged the labour and equipment resources of the Atlin Tlingit Economic Limited Partnership. 
  • Facilitated training opportunities for health and safety, equipment operation and surveying for Taku River Tlingit First Nation members. 
  • Created opportunities and delivered economic benefits to the local area. 

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