The challenge is to develop a cost effective & innovative method of stabilizing the coal mine tailings currently under sub-aqueous containment behind the Victoria Junction Tailings Dam so that the Dam can be decommissioned.
Sponsoring Department: Public Services and Procurement Canada
Funding Mechanism: Contract
Opening date: December 6, 2018
Closing date: February 19, 2019, 14:00 Eastern Standard Time
Please refer to the tender notice for this challenge on Buy and Sell
During the processing of coal from the former Devco Mines, tailings (fine ground rock particles separated from the coal) were produced as a waste product. Fine tailings (approximately 1,000,000m3) were disposed sub-aqueously behind a purpose built dam in Cape Breton Regional Municipality. Dams are a high maintenance structure and entail significant liability. Unless an alternative method of containment/stabilization is utilized the dam will be required for the foreseeable future.
Desired outcomes and Considerations
An acceptable end state is one by which the tailings are stable chemically and physically such that they are protected to prevent erosion due to wind/water exposure, and stable in terms of oxidation and production of acid rock drainage.
Essential (Mandatory) Outcomes
Proposed solutions must:
- allow stabilization/containment of the tailings and removal of the dam at a lower cost and environmental impact than traditional soil cover (bidders are encouraged to provide the estimated cost for the final solution)
- prevent or minimize a requirement to treat water during implementation and ensure there is no requirement for treatment after implementation.
- ensure there is no increase in ground water and surface impacts after implementation in comparison to current state conditions.
- minimize ongoing monitoring and maintenance activities. Current monitoring and Maintenance activities are dictated by Canada Dam Safety Guidelines based on a dam rating of high risk.
Proposed solutions should:
- Provide additional remediation opportunities to other Government of Canada contaminated sites.
Background and Context
The VJ Tailings Dam has been in place since the 1980's. The facility is in a state of monitoring and maintenance but as a dam it is inherently risky. The dam is managed in accordance with the Canada Dam Safety Guidelines. It is currently stable but under the current closure strategy it is required to maintain the water cover for generations to come and is subject to land use restrictions, climate change considerations and ongoing maintenance. If a feasible, reliable and economical opportunity exists to stabilize the material without the requirement of water cover or water treatment it would be in the best interest of GOC to decommission the dam.
The current liability cost estimate is for the 40 year period. PSPC has just reinvested to replace the toe drain and reinforce the dam within the last 8 years. A similar level of reinvestment would likely be required in 40 years. Decommissioning would allow PSPC to avoid the majority of the monitoring and maintenance cost as well as the reinvestment. The operations completed in the 1990's and the Dam has been maintained since closure to maintain the water cover over the tailings and prevent oxidation and the creation of acid rock drainage.
PSPC has engaged a consultant to update the dam safety review. Construction drawings, past dam safety reviews, water quality and aerial photos are all available to proponents. Current Class D estimate of traditional soil cover is being developed and will be provided to any proponents.
The back-up drinking water supply for the town of New Waterford is nearby and downstream of the tailings dam. Removal of the tailings Dam would ease concerns regarding the back-up drinking water supply for the town of New Waterford by removing hydraulic gradients from the waste material. The current management of the waste requires limited land use over a wide expanse of property. Removal of the dam would allow for fewer land use limitations and the opportunity for the GOC to dispose of some of the land holding currently required because of the dam. Removal of the dam also reduces any perceived risk to down stream properties that may currently hinder development.
Maximum value and travel
Maximum contract value:
Multiple contracts could result from this Challenge.
The maximum funding available for any Phase 1 Contract resulting from this Challenge is $150,000.00 CAD (plus tax) including shipping, travel and living expenses, as applicable, for up to 6 months.
The maximum funding available for any Phase 2 Contract resulting from this Challenge is $1,000,000.00 CAD (plus tax) including shipping, travel and living expenses, as applicable, for up to 2 years. Only eligible businesses that have completed Phase 1 could be considered for Phase 2.
This disclosure is made in good faith and does not commit Canada to contract for the total approximate funding.
For Phase 1 it is anticipated that two meetings will require the successful bidder(s) to travel to the location identified below:
Cape Breton Regional Municipality
Final Review Meeting
Cape Breton Regional Municipality
Solution proposals can only be submitted by a small business that meets all of the following criteria:
- for profit
- incorporated in Canada (federally or provincially)
- 499 or fewer full-time equivalent (FTE) employeesFootnote *
- research and development activities that take place in Canada
- 50% or more of its annual wages, salaries and fees are currently paid to employees and contractors who spend the majority of their time working in CanadaFootnote *
- 50% or more of its FTE employees have Canada as their ordinary place of workFootnote *
- 50% or more of its senior executives (Vice President and above) have Canada as their principal residenceFootnote *
The official source of the Evaluation Criteria for this challenge is the Government Electronic Tendering System (Buy and Sell) (https://buyandsell.gc.ca/procurement-data/tender-notice/PW-18-00846769)
In the event of a discrepancy between the information below and the information published on Buy and Sell, Buy and Sell will take precedence.
Part 1: Mandatory and Minimum Pass Mark Criteria
Proposals must meet all mandatory criteria (Questions 1a and 2) and achieve the minimum pass mark for Question 3 in order to be deemed responsive and proceed to Part 2.
1 a. Scope
Describe your proposed solution and how it responds to the challenge. Include in your description the scientific and technological basis upon which your solution is proposed and clearly identify how your solution meets all of the EssentialOutcomes (if identified) in the Desired Outcomes and Considerations section in the Challenge Notice.
Mandatory - Pass/Fail
2. Current Technology Readiness Level (TRL)
Mandatory - Pass/Fail
Pass: The Applicant/Bidder has demonstrated that the proposed solution is currently between TRLs 1 and 4 (inclusive), and provided justification by explaining the research and development (R&D) that has taken place to bring the solution to the stated TRL.
Fail: The Applicant/Bidder has not provided sufficient evidence to demonstrate that the current TRL is between 1 to 4 (inclusive) including:
Describe the novelty of your solution and how it advances the state-of-the-art over existing technologies, including competing solutions.
Point Rated with Minimum Pass Mark
The minimum pass mark for this criteria is 4 points.
0 points/Fail: The Applicant/Bidder has not demonstrated that the proposed solution advances the state-of-the-art over existing technologies, including available competing solutions; OR
The stated advancements are described in general terms but are not substantiated with specific, measurable evidence.
Part 2: Point-Rated Criteria
Proposals that do not achieve the overall minimum score of at least 55 points out of a possible 110 points (50%) will be declared non-responsive and given no further consideration.
The overall minimum score is determined by adding the Applicant/Bidder's scores from the following questions together (1b, 3, 4-13).
Describe how your proposed solution addresses the Additional Outcomes (if identified) in the Desired Outcomes and Considerations section in the Challenge Notice.
If no Additional Outcomes are identified in the Challenge Notice, Bidders/Applicants will receive 10 points
4. Phase 1 Science and Technology Risks
Identify potential scientific and/or technological risks to the successful development of the proof of concept and how they will be mitigated in Phase 1?
5. Benefits to Canada
Describe the benefits that could result from the successful development of your solution. Applicants/Bidders should consider the potential benefits using the following three categories:
6. Phase 1 Project Plan
Demonstrate a feasible Phase 1 project plan by completing the table.
Note: Phase 1 cannot exceed 6 months and TRL 4.
7. Phase 1 Project Risks
Identify potential project risks (eg. Human resources, financial, project management, etc) to the successful development of the proof of concept and how they will be mitigated?
8. Phase 1 Implementation Team
Demonstrate how your project implementation team has the required management and technological skill sets and experience to deliver the project plan for Phase 1 by completing the table. A member of the implementation team can have more than one role.
Include the labour rates and level of effort for each member. A day is defined as 7.5 hours of work, exclusive of meal breaks. The labour rates and level of effort will be reviewed as part of the evaluation for Question 10.
If your business were to receive funding from Innovative Solutions Canada, describe what actions (e.g., recruitment strategy, internships, co-op placements, etc.) might be taken in Phase 1 to support the participation of under-represented groups (e.g., women, youth, persons with disabilities, Indigenous people, visible minorities) in the research and development of the proposed solution.
10. Phase 1 Financial Proposal
Demonstrate a realistic financial proposal for the Phase 1 project plan by completing the table.
11. Phase 1 Financial Controls, Tracking and Oversight
Describe the financial controls, tracking and oversight that will be used to manage the public funds throughout Phase 1.
12. Phase 2 Strategy
Describe a realistic strategy for the prototype development if selected to participate in Phase 2.
Responses should include:
13. Commercialization Approach
Describe your overall commercialization approach for the proposed solution.
Responses should include:
Questions and answers
Please refer to the tender notice for this challenge on Buy and Sell.
All incoming questions regarding this specific challenge should be addressed to SIC-ISC@pwgsc.gc.ca
You can also consult the Frequently asked questions about the Innovative Solutions Canada Program.
A glossary is also available.