Imperial Metals Corp. Mount Polley Mining Corporation and Bethlehem Resources Corporation have filed a civil claim against two engineering firms responsible for designing and maintaining the Mount Polley Mine tailings storage facility that breached on Aug. 4, 2014.
In the claim, filed in BC Supreme Court on July 4, Imperial Metals named Knight Piesold Ltd. (KP), Amec Earth and Environmental, a division of AMEC Americas Ltd., Amec Americas Ltd. and AMEC Foster Wheeler America’s Ltd. as the defendants.
“The TSF breach occurred as a direct result of the breach of contract, negligence and negligent representations of KP and AMEC which were necessary and contributing factors to the TSF breach, and which would not have occurred but for their actions, omissions and representations,” Imperial Metals noted in the claim.
The TSF was designed and monitored first by KP, and then by AMEC, which amended KP’s design, the claim noted, adding each of the defendants failed to undertake necessary, proper and reasonable investigation of the subsurface conditions underlying the TSF prior to and during its phased construction and operation.
On Aug. 4, 2014, the TSF failed, releasing 17 million cubic metres of water and eight million cubic metres of tailings into Polley Lake, Hazeltine Creek and Quesnel Lake.
To date, as a result of the breach, MPMC has been made liable to pay $2,635,707.17 to the Ministry of Energy and Mines for the expert investigation panel’s work and $626,645.28 to the Ministry of Environment for a spill cost recovery regulation.