With winter just around the corner, Mount Polley Mine will have to move to 24/7 operations soon, said Steve Robertson, Imperial Metals vice-president of corporate affairs.
“Winter conditions don’t allow us to do one week on, and one week off,” he said. “If we took a full week off and got a cold snap we’d come back to all sorts of problems with stock piles and frozen up conveyor belts.”
The mine has been operating every other week since receiving a permit in August to process half of what it would normally process in a year, he said.
As of Wednesday, 244 employees were back working at the mine and other workers are in the process of being called back.
“We’re not going to ramp everything up all at once, but people will come back as we require them and I would think in the next month we would be back to our 24/7 operation.”
The mine is still “eagerly” awaiting approval of its water discharge permit to dump into Quesnel Lake and will be submitting its permit application to resume full time operations some time next week, Robertson said, confirming there will be a public consultation on the application as well as public meetings, hopefully before Christmas break.