Union responds to Mount Polley Mine restart

The union representing workers at Mount Polley Mine is welcoming the mine’s restricted restart approval announced Thursday.

The union representing workers at Mount Polley Mine is welcoming the mine’s restricted restart approval announced Thursday.

“I just got off the phone with mine management and they are starting to recall today approximately 30 maintenance and operations (employees),” said Paul French, president of United Steelworkers Local 1-425.

“We are quite pleased it’s happened sooner than later. We were hoping for sooner.”

Since the Aug. 4, 2014 tailings impoundment breach, approximately 75 union workers have remained employed at the site, French added, noting more workers will be called back once various permits are approved. “We are hopeful everything will proceed on track,” he said.

Imperial Metals called the restart an important milestone and the first step toward normalcy.

“It’s important for Mount Polley Mine and the community, which has relied heavily on the mine, not only for the employment but for the business opportunities,” said  Steve Robertson, vice-president of corporate affairs for Imperial Metals.

Minister of Energy and Mines Bill Bennett said the permit is a conditional restrictive restart of operations and the first of three conditional steps the company will go through. An updated surface and groundwater monitoring plan must be submitted for approval by July 31, 2015 and a five-year mine plan and reclamation plan is due by Sept. 30, 2015.

With the restart, the mine cannot use the tailings storage facility that breached, but will use the Springer Pit, which the permit stipulates water levels must remain 20 metres below the top of the lowest pit edge.

“We are estimating the Springer Pit will be full sometime this fall,” Bennett said.

Government has also ordered the company pay an additional $6.1 million reclamation security.

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

Just Posted

Celebrate women in leadership, March 8, International Women’s Day 2021 (Unsplash)
EDITORIAL: International Women’s Day 2021 shines spotlight on achievements, ongoing inequities

COVID-19 increased gender-based violence, economic stress, the burden of care giving for women

Greg Sabatino photo - Williams Lake Tribune
INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY 2021: Cleary Manning

Spreading positivity through music is one way Cleary Manning tries to make the community better

Seniors in the Interior Health region can book their COVID-19 vaccinations starting Monday, March 8, 2021 at 7 a.m. (File photo)
Seniors in Interior Heath region can book COVID-19 shots starting Monday

Starting March 8 the vaccination call centre will be open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily

Lorne Doerkson is the Liberal MLA for the Cariboo-Chilcotin. (Black Press Media file photos)
MLA’s CORNER: Premier Horgan needs to work harder

There are lots of people out there who are in desperate need of assistance

The James C Richardson Pipe Band marches in a Remembrance Day parade on Nov. 11, 2019 in Chilliwack. Wednesday, March 10 is International Bagpipe Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of March 7 to 13

International Bagpipe Day, Wash Your Nose Day and Kidney Day are all coming up this week

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

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

Pictures and notes in from friends and classmates make up a memorial in support and memory of Aubrey Berry, 4, and her sister Chloe, 6, during a vigil held at Willows Beach in Oak Bay, B.C., on December 30, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Mother of slain daughters supports recent changes to Canada’s Divorce Act

Sarah Cotton-Elliott said she believed her children took a back seat to arranging equal parenting

Victoria man Brett Andersen is asking for people’s help to secure him one of eight free tickets to the moon. (Screenshot/@brettandersen Instagram)
Victoria man wants your help securing a free ticket to the moon

Japanese billionaire offering eight people a trip to the moon

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

Hockey hall-of-fame legend Wayne Gretzky, right, watches the casket of his father, Walter Gretzky, as it is carried from the church during a funeral service in Brantford, Ont., Saturday, March 6, 2021. HE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky remembered as a man with a ‘heart of gold’ at funeral

The famous hockey father died Thursday at age 82 after battling Parkinson’s disease

Donald Alan Sweet was once an all star CFL kicker who played for the Montreal Alouettes and Montreal Concordes over a 13-year career. Photo courtesy of Mission RCMP.
Ex-B.C. teacher who was CFL kicker charged with assault, sexual crimes against former students

Donald Sweet taught in Mission School District for 10 years, investigators seek further witnesses

Most Read