Government representatives, union and industry welcome Mount Polley’s return to full production

Representatives of government, unions and mining industry welcome decision allowing Mount Polley Mining Corp. to return to full production

  • Jun. 23, 2016 7:00 a.m.

Representatives from government, unions and the mining industry welcomed the decision by the statutory decision makers with the provincial government to allow Imperial Metal’s Mount Polley Mining Corporation to return to full production, citing the mine’s importance to the economic well-being of the Cariboo.

“Mount Polley has been vitally important to this region and the decision to allow the mine to fully reopen is good news for the communities that count on it as a key economic generator,” said Cariboo North MLA Coralee Oakes in a press release issued by BC Government Caucus Communications Thursday . “Everyone connected to the mine wanted to see it reopen and it’s great to see that this has been done in a way that ensures the environment is protected. With this decision, B.C. is demonstrating that you can have a healthy resource economy and the jobs that go with it, while protecting the environment.”

On July 9, 2015, statutory decision makers with the ministries of Energy and Mines and Environment conditionally authorized the Mount Polley Mine Corporation to begin restricted operations.

The permit announced by statutory decision makers Thursday, June 23, gives authority to the Mount Polley Mining Corporation to continue operations in previously permitted areas of its Cariboo Pit and underground workings, the press release stated, noting the permit allows for the processing of up to 22,450 metric tonnes of ore per day and to store tailing in the mine’s repaired and strengthened tailings storage facility (TSF).

“We’ve been through a great deal as a community and our ability to recover and rebuild speaks not only to our resiliency, but our determination and commitment to work together to get through the hard times. That’s the Cariboo way,” said Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett in the press release. “I know the return to full production of the mine is welcome news for the communities of Likely, Williams Lake, 100 Mile House and for all of the families that depend on the jobs Mount Polley provides.”

Prior to approval, the company’s Mines Act permit amendment application underwent a lengthy review process including a thorough geotechnical review, a 30-day public consultation period and a detailed technical review by members of the mine development review committee (MDRC). The MDRC consisted of representatives from provincial agencies, First Nations, local governments, the community of Likely, and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and Environment Canada.

“After a lengthy and thorough review process, statutory decision-makers with the Ministry of Energy and Mines have authorized Mount Polley mine’s return to full-operations,” said Energy and Mines Minister Bill Bennett. “It has taken a lot of hard work on the part of local leaders, First Nations, the company and the union to get to this point and I want to thank all involved for their tremendous efforts.”

Since the breach occurred, the Mount Polley Mine Corporation has completed repairs and reinforcement work on the TSF including extensive foundation investigation and additional buttressing of the main and perimeter embankments.

The company has also established an Independent Tailings Review Board consisting of three professional engineers, who had full independent oversight over all aspects of the design, construction, operation and closure planning for the Mount Polley Mine TSF.

“We welcome the news of the government’s decision to allow the continuation of full operations at Mount Polley mine. All of our members, along with mine management, have been working diligently to restore the area since the breach in 2014,” said United Steelworkers Local 1-425 President Paul French. “The Mount Polley mine supports more than 300 direct jobs in our area, and that’s more than 300 families who will benefit from the mine’s full re-opening.”

At the time of the August 2014 breach, the mine employed nearly 400 employees and contributed to an estimated 1,000 indirect jobs including suppliers and contractors.

“It’s been a long road to get to this point, and I know the decision to allow Mount Polley to return to full operation is welcome news not only for our community, but the entire region, said Williams Lake Mayor Walt Cobb.  “The full re-start of the mine means workers will have steady, good-paying jobs to support their families. And, it means those families will remain in our community and continue to support our local businesses.”

The decision is welcome news for the mining industry and for the hundreds of people in the region that benefit from the high paying jobs that the operation provides, said Karina Briño, President and CEO, Mining Association of British Columbia,

“MABC and members are committed to continuing to engage with First Nations and stakeholders in an open and transparent dialogue about our industry’s commitment to responsible environmental management and continuous improvement,” Briño said.

When contacted by the Tribune, Williams Lake Indian Band Chief Ann Louie said the band would be putting out a statement about the decision on Friday, while Xats’ull Chief Donna Dixon could not be reached for comment.

 

 

 

 

 

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

Just Posted

A dose of COVID-19 vaccine is prepared at a vaccination clinic in Montreal’s Olympic Stadium on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
39 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health region

The total number of cases in the region since the pandemic began is now at 7,334

Williams Lake’s YBC Bowlers Remy LeBlanc (back from left), coach Kevin McAlpine, Kara-lynn McAlpine, coach Lindsey Kelley, coach Lisa Mcalpine, Avrel Kidney (middle from left), Weston Kelly, Renee O’Hara, Lily Stewart, Brandon LeBlanc, Serena Kidney (front from left), Elsa Kunka and Colton Lendvoy have managed to carry on through the COVID-19 pandemic while following health guidelines. (Greg Sabatino photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Youth bowlers still throwing strikes, despite pandemic

Young bowlers have been able to carry on relatively unaffected due to the nature of the sport

Members of the Tl’etinqox First Nations are awaiting word of when they will receive their second dose. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
‘We need the second round’: Tl’etinqox Chief Joe Alphonse questions vaccine roll-out

It’s been 42 days since Tl’etinqox First Nation members received their first dose of Moderna

A drive-thru restaurant and beer and wine store is being proposed by Broadway Landco Management Ltd. for the former Chemo RV site at 1704 Broadway Ave. South. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Drive-thru restaurant, beer and wine store proposed for Williams Lake

Owners of property at 1704 Broadway Ave. South have applied for a zoning amendment

Avalanche Canada has issued a special avalanche warning for the Cariboo Mountains effective through the weekend. (Wes Gregg photo)
Pig races at the 145th annual Chilliwack Fair on Aug. 12, 2017. Monday, March 1, 2021 is Pig Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Feb. 28 to March 6

Pig Day, Canadian Bacon Day and Grammar Day are all coming up this week

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from B.C. beach in rescue attempt

Animal dies despite efforts of Nanaimo marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

Gina Adams as she works on her latest piece titled ‘Undying Love’. (Submitted photo)
‘Toothless’ the kitty inspires B.C. wood carver to break out the chainsaw

Inspired by plight of a toothless cat, Gina Adams offers proceeds from her artwork to help animals

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson presents bill to delay B.C.’s budget as late as April 30, and allow further spending before that, B.C. legislature, Dec. 8, 2020. (Hansard TV)
How big is B.C.’s COVID-19 deficit? We’ll find out April 20

More borrowing expected as pandemic enters second year

The first of 11 Dash 8 Q400 aircraft's have arrived in Abbotsford. Conair Group Inc. will soon transform them into firefighting airtankers. (Submitted)
Abbotsford’s Conair begins airtanker transformation

Aerial firefighting company creating Q400AT airtanker in advance of local forest fire season

The Canada Revenue Agency says there were 32 tax fraud convictions across the country between April 2019 and March 2020. (Pixabay)
Vancouver man sentenced to 29 months, fined $645K for tax evasion, forgery

Michael Sholz reportedly forged documents to support ineligible tax credits linked to homeownership

Then-Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson looks on as MLA Shirley Bond answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria. (Chad Hipolito / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
B.C. Liberal party to choose next leader in February 2022

Candidates have until Nov. 30 to declare whether they are running

After nearly 10 months of investigations, Mounties have made an arrest in the tripping of an elderly woman in Burnaby this past April. (RCMP handout)
VIDEO: Mounties charge suspect for tripping elderly woman near Metrotown in April

32-year-old Hayun Song is accused of causing bodily harm to an 84-year-old using her walker

Most Read