Startec Refrigeration Services Ltd.

Startec Refrigeration Services Ltd.

April 26, 2011 09:00 ET

Startec Begins Underground Freezing of Giant Mine Chamber

Calgary-based Engineering Firm Implements First-of-Kind Solution to Contain Arsenic

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - April 26, 2011) - Startec, a Calgary-based engineering firm specializing in refrigeration, compression and processing solutions, began the underground freezing of the first chamber at the former Giant Mine in Yellowknife, N.W.T., implementing a new application in ground freezing that aims to prevent the leaching of arsenic, a byproduct of gold production.

"Refrigeration is the foundation of what we do at Startec so this is really an exciting trial project for us given it is the first time in Canada and the world that underground freezing has been utilized to contain harmful chemicals at an abandoned mine," said Joel Cawthorn, principal and managing director, Startec.

The first chamber, one of 15 on-site, will be frozen into a solid ice block employing a system similar to that of how Startec creates and maintains indoor ice rinks through its refrigeration division. The blocks will be frozen indefinitely using a cooled liquid circulated through a series of underground pipes, which will be attached to a freezing facility on the surface.

For more than 50 years, the Giant Mine produced more than 7 million ounces of gold, and in the process, left behind 237,000 tonnes of toxic arsenic dust, posing longstanding environmental, economic and health and safety concerns. The mine is currently under health and safety maintenance, co-managed by the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs Department (DIAND) and the Government of the Northwest Territories.

About Startec
Established in 1976, Startec is a Calgary-based engineering firm specializing in refrigeration, compression and processing solutions for clients in North America and around the world. Startec has led the engineering, design and construction of many of the largest and most technically demanding refrigeration facilities in Western Canada. Startec provides mission critical confidence for mission critical systems, serving some of the largest and most respected companies in the industries and geographic areas in which it operates. Website:

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