Pioneer drilling at the Springer Pit at Mount Polley Mine. (Mount Polley Mining Corporation photograph)

Pioneer drilling at the Springer Pit at Mount Polley Mine. (Mount Polley Mining Corporation photograph)

MINING MONTH: Mount Polley Mine moves towards reopening

Mount Polley is grateful to the community of Likely and Williams Lake for its ongoing support

After almost three years of being on care and maintenance, Mount Polley Mining Corporation is ramping up to restart milling operations at the Mount Polley mine this quarter.

Activity towards the reopening has been increasing over the past months with returning staff and contractors working to ready the mill for operations. This work includes refurbishment of the tailings slurry and reclaim water pipelines, pumps, conveyors, crushers, screens, grinding mills and plant water systems.

In the pit, contractors began pre-stripping operations in November 2021 and by the end of April, approximately 6.5 million tonnes were mined, of which about 800,000 tonnes have been stockpiled for processing.

In April, Mount Polley renewed its Participation Agreement with the Williams Lake First Nation. Brian Kynoch, President of Imperial Metals Corporation, was pleased to join Chief Willie Sellars at the signing ceremony at the Williams Lake First Nation office. Mount Polley looks forward to the ongoing respectful working relationship with the T’exelcemc which has been active for over a decade.

Mount Polley is grateful to the community of Likely and Williams Lake for its ongoing support during the period of care and maintenance and looks forward to working with many of the local businesses and providing job opportunities for those interested in working at Mount Polley. Currently there are over 100 people working at the site, which will expand to approximately 300 as operations ramp up.

Environmental monitoring remains a priority at Mount Polley. The environmental department takes regular water quality samples across the site and at the water treatment plant, which are tested and analyzed.

Treatment of water at Mount Polley ensures water released into Quesnel Lake is consistent with B.C. and Environment and Climate Change Canada (“ECCC”) water quality standards. Mount Polley discharges treated mine site water that meets strict Environmental Management Act (“EMA”) permit guidelines and ECCC requirements. By meeting these expectations water quality is protected.

After years of remediation work in Hazeltine Creek in response to the 2014 tailings dam breach, the salmon have returned to the creek to spawn. In-stream work was completed in late August 2021, just in time for the sockeye migration in the region.

Environmental monitoring of the Mount Polley site, including remediated areas, will continue for the life span of the mine.

This article was submitted by Mount Polley Mining Corporation for the Williams Lake Tribune’s Mining Month supplement.


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