Satellite image taken the day after Mount Polley mine tailings breach shows drained tailings dam and spill that backed into Polley Lake and down Hazeltine Creek to Quesnel Lake.

Mine dam inspections ordered across B.C.

Independent engineering inspections have been ordered for Mount Polley mine and nearly 100 other mine tailings ponds

Independent engineering inspections have been ordered for Mount Polley mine near Williams Lake and nearly 100 other mine tailings ponds with permits across the province, with reports to be complete by the end of January.

Energy and Mines Minister Bill Bennett announced the dual reviews Monday. The Mount Polley investigation is to be complete by Jan. 31 and will be done concurrently with the B.C. government’s legally required probes by B.C.’s chief inspector of mines and the environment ministry, which looks at the longer-term effects of the Aug. 4 tailings spill.

Bennett said costs will be covered by Imperial Metals for Mount Polley and by all operators of mines with permits to operate nearly 100 tailings facilities in B.C.

“Certainly in the last 40 years there’s no evidence of a tailings dam breach in British Columbia, but rare or not, it happened, and so the public’s confidence I think is shaken” Bennett said at a news conference in Vancouver. “That’s why we need to get these three experts involved as quickly as we’re getting them involved.”

The Mount Polley panel includes UBC mine engineering professor Dirk Van Zyl, U.S. consulting engineer Steven Vick, whose earlier investigations included the 2005 New Orleans levee breach that followed Hurricane Katrina, and Norbert Morgenstern, an Alberta civil engineering professor who has worked on 140 mine projects.

Bennett said the panel was chosen with approval of the Williams Lake and Soda Creek Indian Bands, and their report will be made available to the band councils at the same time as government.

Independent inspections of other mine tailings ponds must be completed Dec. 1, a change from the March 31 deadline for inspections that are required annually. Bennett said these inspections will each have to be reviewed by an independent geotechnical engineering firm.

 

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

Just Posted

BREAKING: RCMP Emergency Response Team at known drug house in Chilliwack

Armed officers responded to reports of shots, bring in ERT, K-9 unit and spike belt

Highway 1 closed after body found on highway north of Yale

Coroners Service reportedly on the scene, next Drive BC update at noon

Kelowna trial for three men charged in Hope murder delayed 11 months

The trial for the alleged killers of Michael Bonin has been moved to May 2021, was supposed to begin this month

Harrison officials unveil reopening plan

As Phase 3 takes effect, village amenities, services resume

Nurses acknowledged with new scholarship at UFV

Jackie and Dick Newton’s daughter donates to honour nurses who cared for her parents

If Trudeau won’t stand up to Trump, how will regular people: Singh

Trudeau did not directly answer a question about Trump’s actions amid protests

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Aldergrove 60-year-old can ‘finally afford to retire’ after winning $24M in lottery

Ron Cumiskey plans to use the hefty Lotto 6/49 winnings to stay close to home, and his daughters

Murder charge upgraded in George Floyd case, 3 other cops charged

Floyd’s family and protesters have repeatedly called for criminal charges against all four officers

Teen cashier praised after paying grocery bill for Aldergrove woman

Otter Co-op’s Brooklyn Roberts asked to pay Tamara Smith’s $44 grocery bill after debit card declined

As two B.C. offices see outbreaks, Dr. Henry warns tests don’t replace other measures

Physical distancing, PPE and sanitizing remain key to reduce COVID-19 spread

After delay, ‘Metro Vancouver’s Largest Indoor Amusement Park’ set to open in Surrey

At Central City Fun Park, ‘things will be a little different than what we had originally planned’

Young killer whale untangles itself from trap line off Nanaimo shore

DFO marine mammal rescue unit was en route as whale broke free from prawn trap line

Racist incident shocks Vancouver Island First Nation

Port Alberni RCMP investigating after video shows truck wheeling through Tseshaht territory

Most Read