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.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Journey Middle School students try out the trades

Program is designed to expose students to career options

Local Monarchist says Saanich Peninsula would be a ‘great place’ for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

Bruce Hallsor also expects the couple’s professional opportunities to lie outside Greater Victoria

Court rejects mistrial for accused Victoria drug dealer who fired his lawyer

Horst Schirmer filed a mistrial application on basis of receiving incompetent representation

Saanich seeks young residents to serve on 2020 advisory committees

Youth members must be between 16 and 24 years old

Central Saanich councillor says council may re-examine speed limits in Brentwood Bay

Coun. Carl Jensen says he wouldn’t be surprised if council were to move on the issue

Officials reaching out to those in contact with Canada’s first coronavirus patient

The illness has sickened at least 1,975 people and killed 56 in China

Kobe Bryant killed in California helicopter crash: reports

NBA star was reportedly in his private helicopter at the time of the crash

Investigation launched after six dead puppies dumped in Richmond hotel parking lot

RAPS reminds people they can always give up puppies they can’t take care of

Risk of coronavirus low in B.C. as first case emerges in Toronto: officials

There have been no confirmed cases of the virus in B.C.

‘Presumptive case’ of coronavirus in Canada confirmed by Ontario doctors

Man in his 50s felt ill on his return to Canada from Wuhan, China

VIDEO: Drone footage shows extent of damage in Highway 4 rockslide

Tofino, Ucluelet still cut off from rest of the island, as crews work to repair roadway

People knowingly take fentanyl so make policy changes to reduce harm: B.C. study

Dr. Jane Buxton, an epidemiologist at the centre, says drug users need more resources,

‘My heart is going to bleed’: Bodies brought back to Canada following Iran plane crash

Remains of Sahar Haghjoo, 37, and her eight-year-old daughter, Elsa Jadidi, were identified last weekend

Most Read