View of Mount Polley Mine tailings facility where breach occurred as seen on Aug. 25

View of Mount Polley Mine tailings facility where breach occurred as seen on Aug. 25

Ministry issues advisory to Mount Polley

Imperial Metals has been told to ensure there are no more discharges from the tailings storage facility at Mount Polley Mine.

Imperial Metals has been told to ensure there are no more discharges from the tailings storage facility at Mount Polley Mine as a result of the Aug. 4 breach.

“On Sept. 4, the Mount Polley mining facility was inspected by staff from the Ministry of Environment and was found to be out of compliance with the Environmental Management Act (EMA) because effluent was still discharging from the tailings storage facility into Hazeltine Creek,” the ministry said in a press release, noting an advisory was sent to the mine about the discharge concerns on Tuesday, Sept. 9.

While discharges have stopped since the Sept. 4 inspection, ministry staff are concerned future rain events will trigger further discharges.

The advisory is the first step of an escalating enforcement response to a violation of the Environmental Management Act.

Earlier this week, Imperial Metals vice-president Steve Robertson said the company was about a week away from completing a dyke to secure the tailings storage facility.

Failure to comply with the pollution abatement order could lead to a maximum fine of $300,000 per day and up to six months in jail under the Environmental Management Act, the ministry said.

The company could also face additional fines under EMA of $1 million per day and six months jail time for a non-compliant discharge.