Aerial photo shows upstream dike and sumps to contain tailings at Mount Polley mine

Mount Polley dike completed, investigators move in

New dike makes breach safe, allows downstream work on sumps to prevent further tailings to escape as mine investigation continues

An upstream dike has been completed at Mount Polley Mine, allowing investigators to probe the site of the original Aug. 4 dam breach.

The new structure is to make the breach area safe for inspection and work below, not to repair the original breach or retain water in the tailings pond, said Steve Robertson, Imperial Metals vice-president for corporate affairs.

“We’ve finished construction of the upstream dike, and now we’re establishing the sumps on the upstream side of that, and that will intercept the water that’s going to continue to flow out of the tailings,” Robertson said in an interview Friday. “If anything should get past that, we’ll have another sump outside of the breach that will capture any water that comes out through the breach and make sure that it gets put into the reclaim system.”

The sumps act as settling ponds, with the water pumped back up to another pit on the site of the copper-gold mine near Williams Lake.

Robertson said the continued work addresses the Ministry of Environment‘s non-compliance notice issued to the company Sept. 9, regarding discharge of water into the Hazeltine Creek channel.

Most of the available mine employees are back at work, with about 30 working on cleanup around Quesnel Lake. Work is expected to continue until there is too much snow cover to continue.

The environment ministry released more water test results Thursday, showing water collected at various sites and depths in the area remains safe to drink.

The immediate area of the tailings spill remains a “do not use” zone, and Interior Health advises local residents to avoid drinking cloudy water.

 

Just Posted

Meet the Greater Victoria athletes in Red Deer for the 2019 Canada Winter Games

Players express gratitude and excitement about representing Team BC

Unhealthy disagreement sees three First Nations chiefs take government to court

Claim and counter-claim: B.C.’s First Nations health department and administrator end up in court.

Victoria to lose $6 million in funding for new Crystal Pool

No extension for March 31 gas tax grant deadline

Victoria hotel trashes Channing Tatum in favour of B.C.’s Ryan Reynolds

Tatum’s picture left in recycling bin, replaced with photo of Ryan Reynolds

One arrested, weapons, and drugs seized in Sooke bust

During the Feb. 6 raid, police found firearms, ammunition, drugs, and brass knuckles

‘Our entire municipality is heartbroken’: Seven children die in Halifax house fire

A man and woman remained in hospital Tuesday afternoon, the man with life-threatening injuries

Greater Victoria Wanted List for the week of Feb. 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

New trial ordered over banning whales, dolphins at Vancouver aquarium

Park board’s appeal reverses previous decision that found it had no right to implement a ban

Minister says plans to fight poverty, climate change, focus of B.C. budget

The NDP said in its throne speech last week that affordability will be the hallmark of its initiatives

Make sure measles shots up to date, Public Health Agency says

Measles causes high fever, coughing, sneezing and a widespread painful rash

Bomb threats, gunfire, kidnapping: Drug war rocks Kamloops

Kamloops RCMP battles a series of violent events

Island fossil makes it to the top of the provincial list

Courtenay’s elasmosaur will be added to the official Provincial Symbols of British Columbia

Vancouver Island boys high school basketball bragging rights on the line

Oak Bay, Nanaimo, Ladysmith and Victoria host Island championships this weekend

Payless to close 248 Canadian stores, saying it’s ‘ill-equipped’ for market

The company will begin closing stores at the end of March

Most Read