Mount Polley confirms some layoffs

Thirty hourly and 11 salaried employees have been laid off as a result of the Aug. 4 Mount Polley Mine tailings pond breach.

Thirty hourly and 11 salaried employees have been laid off as a result of the Aug. 4 Mount Polley Mine tailings pond breach, Imperial Metals confirmed Tuesday.

“We have 336 employees on the payroll right now and cannot make any predictions on future layoffs because the situation is fluid and subject to change,” said Steve Robertson, vice-president of corporate affairs, adding it is mostly staff from the mine involved in on-site cleanup and mine-related activities.

While the focus is on cleanup and remediation,  the company will have to fully plan out the process before it can talk about when the mine could possibly restart, he explained.

When asked what steps are being taken to deal with the devastation to Hazeltine Creek because of the breach, the anticipated return of spawning coho salmon there, and whether alternate spawning beds will be found, Robertson said a crew is on site this week assessing fisheries related matters and will update the community once a full plan is in place.

As for Bootjack Lake, Roberston said there are no concerns that tailings entered the lake.

“The elevation of the tailings prior to the breach was 17 metres lower than Bootjack Lake and the lake is a straight line distance of 2.2 km in the opposite direction from the flow of the tailings breach.”

Mount Polley has a reverse osmosis station on site to treat water prior to release into the environment to meet aquatic life guidelines, however, Robertson said the impact to the environment would mostly be from the scouring event and the deposit of tailings over the outlet of Polley Lake, the delta of Hazeltine Creek and into Quesnel Lake.

“The potential for ongoing impacts of aquatic life, wildlife and humans will be closely monitored, but with the information that we have we expect the potential for significant negative long-term impact from a chemistry perspective to be low,” Robertson said. “Testing to examine this is of utmost importance, however, and will be ongoing.”

Mount Polley has been hosting community meetings in Likely since the disaster. The next one is scheduled for Wednesday, Aug. 27.

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

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)
The city of Williams Lake has received provincial funding for a proposed boardwalk connecting the RC Cotton Trail to the River Valley Recreational Trail. (City of Williams Lake rough visualization of the proposal)
$550,000 provincial funding announced for Williams Lake boardwalk trail

The boardwalk will connect the new RC Cotton Trail to the river valley

Dr. Bonnie Henry leaves the podium after talking about the next steps in B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
COVID: 589 new cases in B.C., and 7 new deaths

No new outbreaks being reported Feb. 26

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