Mine restart decision expected early July

The statutory decision makers determining if Mount Polley Mine can restart have received everything they asked for, Minister said.

The statutory decision makers determining if Mount Polley Mine can restart have received everything they asked for from Imperial Metals and should be able to make a decision soon, Minister of Energy and Mines Bill Bennett said.

“There’s a lot of material,” Bennett told the Tribune Thursday. “It’s very technical and cannot be done overnight, but they are working hard to evaluate all that information to try and make a decision as close to the end of June or just barely into July as possible.”

In addition to a temporary restart application, Imperial Metals is being required by the government to provide a long-term plan on managing water at the site, but has not completed that plan yet.

“Right now the only mine plan proposed is for short term operations that will allow us to mine a maximum of four million tonnes of ore and use the Springer Pit for tailings disposal,” said Imperial Metals vice-president of corporate affairs Steve Robertson.

“The idea is that we can use that time to develop the longterm plan and we would hope to get the application for that into the works later this year.”

Of the 121 people still working at the mine, 75 are union members, United Steelworkers Union president Paul French said.

“We support the issuing of a permit and we don’t believe the government would issue a permit if it wasn’t safe,” French said Thursday. “We are hopeful the company’s plan they submitted is sound and they get approval.”

The company is confident it is in the position to get a permit pretty soon, Robertson said, adding the timing of course is beyond their control.

Meanwhile, restoration work continues at Hazeltine Creek and the water going down the creek is running very clear, Robertson said.

“Having the entire channel rocked in, has done a lot to clear up the water.”

As crews continue to stabilize the banks, it is anticipated that when the rains come the stabilization will prevent sediment from going in the water, he added.

The breach repair area is almost complete and crews are moving some waste rock over onto the abutments of the tailings impoundment.

Robertson said it has been reassuring to see vegetation growing at the breach site.

“It feels like the plan is all coming together,” he added.

Likely residents will have the opportunity to tour the mine site on Friday, June 12, and community meetings are being planned for June in Williams Lake and Likely, although the dates have yet to be finalized.

While it’s his ministry’s responsibility to deal with the managing of tailings and general mine operations, Bennett said water discharge is the responsibility of the Ministry of Environment.

The Ministry of Environment, however, declined making comments as the decision-making process continues to unfold.

 

 

 

 

 

Just Posted

The first Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine dose in Canada is prepared at The Michener Institute in Toronto on Monday, Dec. 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
One death, 39 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

There are 484 active cases of the virus in the region currently

Central Mountain Air confirmed it does not plan to resume service to Williams Lake at this time. (Betsy Kline photo)
Central Mountain Air not resuming route to Williams Lake at this time

Scheduled CMA flights will return to Quesnel at the end of June

Gibraltar Mine has started calling back 34 workers laid off on April 27 because it has received its permit to reactive the Gibraltar East Pit. (Taseko Mines Ltd. photo)
Gibraltar Mine receives permit, calling back laid off employees

Mining has begun in the Gibraltar East pit

(RCMP logo)
RCMP investigating early morning assault in Williams Lake

An insecure firearm was located in a residence

Williams Lake City Council rejected a proposal Tuesday at its regular meeting for the city to host a junior A hockey team for the upcoming 2021/22 season. (Greg Sabatino photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Council rejects junior A hockey bid in Williams Lake

The proposal has been up for debate the past several months

B.C. Labour Minister Harry Bains in the B.C. legislature, May 13, 2019. (Hansard TV)
VIDEO: B.C. to provide 3 days of sick pay for COVID-19 absences

Province will support employers on cost, labour minister says

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

BC Housing minister David Eby. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
Eby jabs back against Penticton mayor’s ad urging BC Premier to intervene in shelter dispute

Eby writes that Penticton’s ‘serious’ social issues won’t improve under leadership of the mayor

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, April 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 rate creeps up again, 600 new cases Wednesday

One more death, 423 people in hospital with virus

B.C. Agriculture Minister Lana Popham takes questions in the B.C. legislature in 2017. (Hansard TV)
UPDATE: B.C. will fund another year of fresh fruit, vegetables, milk in schools

John Horgan government working on school meal program

Surrey RCMP is releasing sketches of a suspect in an “indecent act” at the Coyote Creek Elementary playground on April 30, 2021. Police said the suspect was clean-shaven “during some interactions” and on “other occasions had stubble outlining a goatee and mustache.” (Images: Surrey RCMP handout)
Vancouver mayor-elect Kennedy Stewart addresses supporters in Vancouver on Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver mayor says there’s no time to redo details of drug decriminalization plan

Kennedy Stewart says a federal election could see the small window of opportunity close on the city’s bid for an exemption from criminal provisions on simple possession of small amounts of drugs

Premier Mike Horgan received his first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. (Facebook/John Horgan)
More than 50% of people eligible in B.C. have received 1st vaccine dose

‘We’ve made extraordinary progress together over the past few weeks,’ says Premier Horgan

Most Read