The Chief Inspector of Mines for British Columbia has approved an amendment to the Mount Polley Mine Corporation Mines Act permit to allow the company to begin repairs of the breach in its tailings storage facility dam.
The repair work is part of the long-term remediation plan for the area impacted by the Mount Polley breach. The work at the tailings storage facility will help ensure that the increased water flow from melting snow (also known as spring freshet or spring breakup) will not result in additional environmental or human health impacts.
The amendment to the mine’s permit only authorizes the company to undertake the approved breach repair work and sets out a number of conditions that must be followed by Mount Polley Mining Corporation. The amendment does not allow the mine to restart its ore processing operations.
The Mines Act permit amendment application and geotechnical design for the breach repair was reviewed by the Cariboo Mine Development Review Committee, which includes technical representatives from the Government of British Columbia, Williams Lake Indian Band, Xat’sull First Nation, Cariboo Regional District, Community of Likely, and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada.
The Mount Polley Mining Corporation is responsible for the cost of the clean-up effort associated with the breach including the environmental remediation and site restoration. The Ministry of Environment will continue to oversee all remediation work undertaken by the company while a long-term environmental monitoring program is implemented. The Ministry of Energy and Mines will continue to oversee all work on the mine site.
The Mines Act permit amendment is posted on the Mount Polley Spill Response website in the permits and reports section: http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/eemp/incidents/2014/mount-polley/
Ministry of Energy and Mines