Freezing 200,000 Tons of Lethal Arsenic Dust

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  • Published on: 18 June 2018
  • Giant Mine sits near Yellowknife, in the Northwest Territories of Canada. Once it was a productive gold mine, but after the gold ran out, the mining company went bankrupt and left the government to clean up the mess: enough arsenic trioxide dust to kill everyone on Earth. The solution: freezing it, at least for now.

    Thanks to all the team at the Giant Mine Remediation Project! More about them: http://www.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca/eng/1100100027364/1100100027365

    There's an error in this video: I say "200,000 tonnes of gold", but that's actually 200,000kg. The 200,000 tonne figure is for arsenic dust. You can see all corrections for this channel at https://www.tomscott.com/corrections/

    The history of Giant Mine and the local First Nation people, a story I'm not qualified to tell: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/canada-150-betsina-family-nwt-1.4180681

    Edited by Michelle Martin (@mrsmmartin)

    I'm at http://tomscott.com
    on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tomscott
    on Facebook at http://facebook.com/tomscott
    and on Snapchat and Instagram as tomscottgo
  • Runtime : 4:34
  • tom scott tomscott amazing places yellowknife giant mine arsenic trioxide gold mining arsenic freezing

COMMENTS: 40

  • Tom Scott
    Tom Scott   8 months ago

    There's an error in this video: I say "200,000 tonnes of gold", but that's actually 200,000kg. The 200,000 tonne figure is for arsenic dust. You can see all corrections for this channel at https://www.tomscott.com/corrections/

  • Fried Mule
    Fried Mule   1 days ago

    Sorry for this maybe stupid comment, but have no idea of what I am talking about, but what about mix it with cement or clay and let it be trapped inside these blocks?

  • remote5555
    remote5555   2 days ago

    So if we do the math keeping this frozen must in the end negate what you took out in gold .

  • hawkturkey
    hawkturkey   3 days ago

    I am not sure it was spelled out, but the gold and arsenic were apparently already mixed in the ground. With the miners digging in the ground for the gold, the arsenic was loosened and left behind. Nobody cared even though the loosened arsenic got into the water.

  • Dog Faced Pony Soldier

    Why not remove it, put it in barrels and bury it the same way they do with radioactive waste, so that there is no chance of it seeping into the environment? this seems like a risky way to go about it since it relies on the stuff being frozen, and if it ever melts, there is a bunch of water right there for it to mix into.

  • Brandon N
    Brandon N   4 days ago

    Remediation should take place at the point of mining. Any mine unable to permanently store their waste needs to close right this second.

  • onebigkaka
    onebigkaka   6 days ago

    I don't trust any women. Please shut up.

  • T-Rex Hunter
    T-Rex Hunter   6 days ago

    June 2020 be like I am about to melt this entire mine

  • Pringles
    Pringles   6 days ago

    I'm confused by this.I'm a maintenance technician for an industrial chrome plating company, and we're responsible for all our hazardous waste indefinitely. I know where hazmat barrels are stored long term that were produced, used, and disposed of before I even started working there (not off the top of my head, we have a very thick logbook). We had an incident with one of our waste handling facilities about 10 years ago, roughly 275 [U.S.] gallons of nitric acid, hydrochloric acid, metrolux and a couple other chemicals spilled and it cost the company a couple million in cleanup. Now they're paying almost triple for long term solid hazmat storage.How the hell did these guys just abandon powdered arsenic?

  • Inhale clan -INHL
    Inhale clan -INHL   1 weeks ago

    so we're gonna use this technology called technology technology that uses technology to use technology to freeze it

  • Nouman Ahmad
    Nouman Ahmad   1 weeks ago

    Why don't they just collapse the tunnels and bury it forever under the mountains...

  • Var Ve Yok
    Var Ve Yok   1 weeks ago

    How does termosyphones can freeze?İs air that cold?I need to learn.

  • SuperWolf1964
    SuperWolf1964   1 weeks ago

    Can't they just mix it into plastic blocks then surround the blocks with non-porous concrete and keep an eye on it?Trying to freeze it, as others have said, costs energy/money to perform and upkeep whereas encasing/mixing/embedding it in plastic would be a lot cheaper as it shouldn't take so much energy to upkeep!

  • Jaakko Fagerlund
    Jaakko Fagerlund   1 weeks ago

    200 000 tons of arsenic trioxide. Worlds yearly manufacturing of that stuff is a quarter of that, so what I'm puzzled is, why do you not dig the stuff out of there to be used as obviously we have a need for that chemical?

  • Alexander Mason
    Alexander Mason   1 weeks ago

    Apparently this stuff is used as treatment in some cancers yet the medication costs hundreds of dollars per dose even though there's literal mountains of it laying around

  • Peter Whitmore
    Peter Whitmore   1 weeks ago

    Could Sulfur dioxide be used to convert the Arsenic oxide to an insoluble arsenic sullide?

  • Steve Spivey
    Steve Spivey   1 weeks ago

    Tom wears safety googles, hard hat, and orange vest. None of which will protect him against As2O3.

  • Boldizsár Nagy
    Boldizsár Nagy   1 weeks ago

    Meanwhile romanian mining company dumping 100 thousand cubic meters of cianide into rivers20 years ago

  • Dakota Lally
    Dakota Lally   2 weeks ago

    Can't they just build an above ground structure with concrete and steel, store the dust in casks or tanks?

  • jordan fraser
    jordan fraser   2 weeks ago

    Should be talking about the REAL giant mine storey. That exact mine ur talking about was home to the biggest union fight to ever occur. Including blasts that were placed to kill workers. 12 workers died in giant mine that day. Let's remember them. Ide love to hear you cover this story.

  • Sir Will
    Sir Will   2 weeks ago

    I hate resource companies. They never clean up their messes and we don't get enough money from them ti pay for their messes.

  • DrawDeath
    DrawDeath   2 weeks ago

    So they didnt go to jail for that, nor did pay any fine. Goverments and law at their "best"...

  • Krisjanis K.
    Krisjanis K.   2 weeks ago

    Don't tell me they're bankrupt. Total lies. They just took the cash and left it for someone to clean up

  • Stan Burton
    Stan Burton   2 weeks ago

    Why not thermal glassification? Melt it into an inert glass block like they are doing for nuclear waste?

  • fergal farrelly
    fergal farrelly   2 weeks ago

    This brit can go comment on whats wrong over in his own country but others always go elswere to lip off. Holier than thow is the mantra.

  • choboc gaming
    choboc gaming   2 weeks ago

    "summer of 2020" - well that didn't age well

  • LHCreeper
    LHCreeper   3 weeks ago

    How did the arsenic regicide get there? How is it created and why?

  • v.dog
    v.dog   3 weeks ago

    Privatize the profits, socialize the costs.

  • Kyu Lee
    Kyu Lee   3 weeks ago

    Hm... solid state batteries and lots of arsenic that's costing us tax money. I think there could be a nobel prize here for the person smart enough or priviledged enough to do it. ^_^

  • SoleSamulous
    SoleSamulous   3 weeks ago

    Surely there is a solution to chemically neutralize the arsenic?

  • IRON
    IRON   3 weeks ago

    Can't we blow it up?

  • Metaverse Adventures
    Metaverse Adventures   3 weeks ago

    Creative cooling solution, but I do wonder if the warming of the planet will one day require the ice rink cooling system. Sure hope there is money for that if needed. Interesting video as always.