Imperial Metals is calling for a three-year provisional extension to drain mine drainage into Lake Kessner while working on major regulatory changes to extend the life of the gold and copper mines on Mount Pauly.
The extension of the BC Environment’s emission permit, which is due to expire on 31 December 2022, has been opposed by residents of some mining areas.
A mine inside British Columbia was the site of a catastrophic collapse of the Earth and rock dams in 2014, releasing 24 million cubic meters of water and tailing containing potentially toxic metals. .. This was enough water and material to fill an Olympic-sized pool of about 9,800.
The company was allowed to rebuild the dam and resume production two years after the state.
“The Mt. Pauly permit for the discharge of mining waste into the lake should not have been approved in the first place,” says Christine McLean, coordinator of the relevant citizens of Lake Kessner. “The drainage of wastewater to the former pristine Lake Kessner affects lake-dependent fish, wildlife and community members.”
According to the company, all water discharged from Mount Pauly to Lake Kessner is treated and meets permit guidelines.
As part of the state’s permit, Mount Pauly was decided by the Ministry of the Environment before draining water containing metals such as copper, called drainage, into Lake Kessner via a pipe 250 meters deep from the coast and 45 meters deep. It needs to be processed to the specified level.
Imperial Metals announced that it had shut down the Mount Polley mine in May 2019 due to low copper prices, but plans to reopen the mine this year.
In a written response to the post-media question, Brian Kynoch, president of Imperial Metals, confirmed that the company is seeking a tentative extension of the emission permit and subsequent extension of the mine’s lifespan.
British Columbia Environment Ministry officials said the application process was initiated by the state’s major mining offices for a review of the updated mining program, including an extension to drain treated mine drainage to Quesnel Lake. Stated.
The mine expansion application is not expected to be formally received until summer or autumn, state officials said.
At the same time, the state is considering a three-year provisional extension request.
However, extending the life of the mine is seen as a major amendment to existing environmental management and mining law permits and requires extensive public notice and involvement, ministry officials said.
“The application process must take into account, among other things, aspects of long-term water management, if necessary,” Environment Ministry spokesman David Khan said in an email.
“For mines to be successful in the application process, proponents need to confidently show to both ministries and public consultations that environmental protection and water quality levels are being adhered to and maintained.” Khan said.
Residents who oppose the discharge of wastewater to Lake Kessner have stated that at least the mines need to be strengthened in the treatment of wastewater.
Doug Watt, a resident of the mining area, said he was concerned that the mine could be in operation for another 12 to 15 years and the lake could be used as a form of wastewater dilution.
“If you let Mount Pauly use dilution as a wastewater solution instead of proper water treatment, the next mine will probably demand the same,” Watt said.
The company’s president, Kynoch, said the company is working on the best alternatives for emissions after the mine has been closed and entered the reclamation phase.
Recently, three BC engineers have been disciplined for their role in the 2014 Mount Polley mine spill.
One of the world’s largest mining dam failures in the last 50 years, the dam failure on August 4, 2014 has shaken the industry and worries public, indigenous and environmental groups that aquatic life, especially salmon, will be harmed. Caused. Spawn using the Kessner Lake system.
Imperial Metals disagreed with this, saying that an engineering consultant’s investigation into the effects of the spill (including the work of Golder Associates) concluded that the effects of the failure were primarily physical and not chemical. increase.
Tailings and water releases from the dam failure washed away 9 km of Hazeltin Creek. There, trout and coho salmon spawned and dumped much of the taillings into Quesnel Lake.
Research on the effects of spills is expected to continue for years.
Imperial Metals has spent $ 71 million on rehabilitation work, including Hazel Tin Creek.
Three engineers disciplined for their role in the 2014 Mount Polley mine spill
Survey of Mt. Pauly mine dam runoff shows environmental impact on Lake Kessner
Regulatory changes introduced in response to the Polly Mountain mine disaster
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The Mount Polley Mine will be applied to the extension of drainage after 2022 as it is preparing for a reboot.
Source link The Mount Polley Mine will be applied to the extension of drainage after 2022 as it is preparing for a reboot.