One of the two sediment ponds installed by the mine as seen last Friday

One of the two sediment ponds installed by the mine as seen last Friday

Remediation ongoing at Mount Polley Mine

Mount Polley Mine Corporation continues to work on remediating the site impacted by the Aug. 4, 2014 tailings impoundment breach.

Mount Polley Mine Corporation continues to work on remediating the site impacted by the Aug. 4, 2014 tailings impoundment breach, including reinforcing the original impoundment with concrete aggregate.

When the tailings impoundment gave way, an estimated seventeen million cubic metres of water and eight million cubic metres of tailings emptied into nearby Polley Lake, Hazeltine Creek and Quesnel Lake.

Once the tailings and water reached Polley Lake and Hazeltine Creek, about five million cubic metres of water went up into the lake, followed by tailings that blocked off the end of the lake.

The soupy tailings created a plug and  caused the lake’s level to increase by 1.7 metres.

Pumps were installed in the lake to reduce the water level down to July 2014 levels, which took about three months to achieve.

In its wake, the breach significantly widened the eight kilometre long Hazeltine Creek channel, creating a new landscape where formerly a little creek meandered through the woods.

In order to work in Hazeltine Creek, a water outlet structure was installed to control Polley Lake’s level.

The company has created a new Hazeltine Creek channel and is now at the point of armouring it.

Until the work is completed, fish fences have been installed so the fish cannot enter Hazeltine Creek.

The next step is to install spawning gravel.

The new Hazeltine Creek channel has been designed to handle 1.7 cubic metres of water a second, said Steve Robertson, Imperial Metals vice-president of corporate affairs.

The water treatment plant will discharge at a rate of .3 cubic metres per second, leaving room for some water from Polley Lake.”

Last Friday crews resumed work on nearby Edney Creek in advance of the salmon returning.

Planning also has to take into account other creeks flowing into Hazeltine Creek and rain and snow fall.

The new channel is also being built to handle spring freshet, and with the water control structure, water from Polley Lake can be held back, until all the remediation work is completed.

Part of the restoration has seen the company retrieve trees from the lake, chip them, and bring the chips back to help rehabilitate the banks along Hazeltine Creek.

In other areas, uprooted trees have been placed along the banks as well to help restore vegetation.

Work is also being done at the bottom of Edney Creek before the salmon return in late August.

Minister Bill Bennett said the government has yet to hear from two investigations into the breach being conducted by the Conservation Officer Service and the Chief Inspector of Mines, but noted he anticipates they will impact any future permits for Mount Polley Mine.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A 100 Mile RCMP officer stands watch at the intersction of Highway 97 and Horse Lake Road. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Volunteers, police search Highway 97 for articles related to high-speed chase

Search will stretch from Canco Gas Station in Lac La Hache to 150 Mile House.

An aerial photograph captures snowmobile tracks in the Cameron Ridge area earlier this year, which is closed to snowmobilers. The closures are in place to protect sensitive caribou herds. (Conservation Officer Service photo)
Snowmobilers fined for operating in closed caribou habitat near Likely, B.C.

The investigation revealed they had spent several hours in the closure leaving extensive tracks

The RCMP arrest one of the suspects on Highway 97 courtesy of cell phone footage shot by a bystander. (April Thomas photo)
WATCH: Two suspects arrested after multi-jurisdictional chase

A half dozen police cars were seen heading north on Highway 97

Commercial tenants at the Williams Lake Regional Airport have been granted an additional six-month rent reprieve. (Angie Mindus file photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Continuing rent relief for Williams Lake Airport tenants considered

City council discussed the option during a committee of the whole meeting

The Grade 2 class of 150 Mile House Elementary attended Cariboo Memorial Hospital with teacher Kirsty Bowers to deliver “kindness” bags full of small gifts to housekeeping staff. (Rebecca Dyok photo)
150 Mile House students deliver gift bags showing appreciation for hospital staff

Students begin Monday morning with a bus trip to Cariboo Memorial Hospital

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

A vial of Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a family doctor office, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021 in Paris. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP -Christophe Ena
Trudeau ‘optimistic’ that timeline for rollout of COVID vaccines can be accelerated

Canada set to receive more than 6M COVID-19 vaccine dose than initially expected, by end of March

Beginning late Tuesday, anti-pipeline protesters blocked the intersection of Hastings Street and Clark Drive in Vancouver. (Instagram/Braidedwarriors)
Demonstrators block key access to Vancouver port over jail for pipeline protester

They group is protesting a 90-day jail sentence handed to a fellow anti-pipeline protester

Two Vancouver police officers were struck by a car when the driver learned he was being arrested for allegedly using a fraudulent credit card to pay for food. (Vancouver Police Department)
Driver being arrested for alleged food order fraud rams Vancouver police with car

Two officers are in stable condition, suffering with soft tissue injuries following the incident

A discarded blue surgical mask is shown hanging in a bush in Montreal, Sunday, Dec. 6, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
B.C. RMT suspended for not wearing a mask after confirmed by undercover clients

College of Massage Therapists has 5 open files, said suspension necessary to protect public

Accident rates, injury claims and court costs have driven ICBC into deficit in recent years. (Black Press Media)
Judge rejects taking lawyers out of minor ICBC injury cases

Ruling the latest setback for B.C. NDP’s insurance cost reforms

Most Read