New efforts on geothermal extraction at old mine in NWT, Canada
New research being done to explore the viability of a geothermal project at abandoned gold mine in Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories, Canada.
In a collaboration, the NWT Geological Survey and researchers at the Institut National de la Reserche Scientifique in Quebec (INRS) are exploring how much heat is produced at the abandoned Con Mine, the first gold mine in the Northwest Territories in Canada. We reported on the current work by INRS.
The Con Mine project has been in the news back in 2011/ 2012. Back then the goal was to extract the hot water collected in the mines to be used for a district heating for the city of Yellowknife, but it did not pass a local election. Three studies have been done so far and in the end the heat and cost for distribution was seen as not economically feasible.
Now Jasmin Raymond, a professor at INRS, sees the opportunity to replace the fossil-fuel based heating in the city with a geothermal heat pump system. With the research planned now, the group hopes to get a more accurate resource estimate.
There is a possibility to develop an industrial park as way to offtake some of the heat produced. The next step, so the local news piece, is to engage on the possibility of a pilot project that could demonstrate the viability of a geothermal heating system.
Another geothermal project at For Liard fell through in 2013 as the developer could not reach a power purchase agreement with NWT Power Corporation, the territories utility company.