Detour Gold is committed to sustainable development, which includes taking additional measures to ensure responsible consumption of fossil fuels. Detour Gold remains focused on the development of its Environmental Management System (EMS) to allow for improved environmental performance and design. Our goal is to formalize our EMS to ISO 14001 standards over the coming years with an end goal of achieving and maintaining certification.

Detour Gold’s environmental management team is represented at both the Detour Lake mine site and at its corporate headquarters, in Toronto. Working together, the team ensures our operations meet government regulations and that our activities are planned and managed to minimize the potential impacts to water, land and air.

In 2018, our environment team on site continued to strengthen and grow. We expanded our team to include Indigenous Affairs (IA) with the appointment of a Manager of Environment and Sustainability. Integration of IA will allow for stronger implementation of existing agreements and commitments to our Indigenous partners. Newly created community liaisons positions provide strong links to members.

Environmental Policy

Our Environmental Policy guides our activities and includes a commitment to:

  • Comply with laws and regulations
  • Communicate on key topics
  • Develop and implement an environmental management system (EMS)
  • Provide environmental training
  • Design for minimal environmental impacts
  • Integrate biodiversity
  • Promote efficient energy use

Our key environmental goals include:

  • Implementing a standard filing system and formal auditing program
  • Formalizing management programs for significant environmental aspects
  • Setting clear and measurable energy and GHG targets
  • Implementing and improving an on-site waste management and diversion plan
  • Updating and revising our site wide water balance to meet changing needs

Climate Change

In 2018, Detour conducted a climate change risk assessment with the input of our Indigenous community partners. The assessment identified the ways in which the climate interacted with the mine site components and highlighted areas of potential risk. The highest risks identified to date were to transportation, electricity, and water management systems, due to potential droughts and high intensity rainfalls.

In 2018, Detour also hired a full-time energy manager who focused on compiling baseline energy use data and identifying potential areas for savings and reductions. Detour’s annual GHG emissions increased to approximately 233,000 tonnes of CO2 in 2018 (83 million litres of diesel purchased). Our 2018 electrical use was approximately 747,000 MWh.


Detour is committed to sustainable development, which includes taking additional measures to ensure responsible consumption of fossil fuels. Our No Idling Policy promotes the preservation of non-renewable natural resources. This policy has been established to:

  • Promote respect for the surrounding natural environment;
  • Prevent unnecessary emissions; and
  • Optimize equipment availability and utilization.
Annual Greenhouse Gas Emissions (t CO₂ₑ) graph


The Detour Lake mine and proposed West Detour project are located on a historic mine site, or “brownfield” at the northern edge of the Canadian Shield, surrounded by forest, ponds, lakes, and muskegs. Detour Lake Mine requires many environmental permits and provides annual reporting on the status of our environmental performance to government and Indigenous communities. We have an extensive environmental monitoring network including surface water, groundwater, air and noise. We are committed to compensate for the lost habitat resulting from our operations.

No Net Loss

The region is home to large mammals including caribou, moose, wolf, bear, and fur bearing animals such as lynx, beaver, fox. It is also home to nine species identified as threatened by the IUCN.

The Detour Lake Mine is located within the Kesagami Woodland Caribou Range which is home to a protected caribou population. Detour has invested in caribou research since 2013 and was a Gold sponsor at the North American Caribou Workshop. We are actively working with government, forestry, Indigenous, academics, and ENGO’s to prepare an overall benefit plan which would include both short-term and long-term measures for local caribou habitat creation and restoration.


Our water management strategy is comprised of four key areas:

  • Minimizing our fresh water intake
  • Maximizing the amount of water recycled
  • Only using as much as we need
  • Discharging water in accordance with our permit conditions

We are proud of our water management system which allows us to re-use 97% of process plant water and serves to protect the aquatic environment. In 2018, our fish habitat project in Karel Creek provided refuge and spawning sites for brook trout, an important cold-water fish species.

Water withdrawals from the environment remained similar to 2017, with most of the water taking coming from the TMA reclaim to keep it dry.

Process Plant Water Use in m³ graph