Water from Gibraltar Mine tailings spill clean water: Battison

A tailings water spill at Gibraltar Mine on May 22 did not require follow-up, says the Ministry of Environment.

A tailings water spill at Gibraltar Mine on May 22 did not require follow-up, says the Ministry of Environment.

On May 23, Taseko reported a spill to the Ministry of Environment and the nearby First Nations community of Alexandria.

Companies cannot be 100 per cent sure of the water quality leaving, so all spills have to be reported, MOE environmental emergency response officer Dale Bull says.

In an e-mail sent to Chief Bernie Elkins of Alexandria, Taseko’s senior environmental engineer Todd Wambolt reported that at about 8 a.m. on May 23, water was discovered in an area of the reclaim water pipeline, which runs from the storage tank into the mill.

The flow rate was estimated at 100 litres per minute and by 9:15 a.m. the flow was diverted through a portable pump into our surface collection system.

As a result the mill was shut down and the pipeline repaired.

Bull says 6,000 litres seems like a large number for people who don’t work with it all the time; however, he points out the Fraser River near Williams Lake or Prince George will pump that much water in a fraction of a second.

“The released water isn’t toxic and won’t have any chemicals in it. The only thing it might have is suspended solids, little bits of rock, that are floating in it. When they discovered it they put a pump into the natural stream and pumped it back into their containment system until they could make repairs and pump it out the way it supposed to go.”

Taseko’s vice president of corporate affairs Brian Battison says the hole in the pipe was described to him as the size of the tip of the thumb.

“It was water from the tailings facility, water that is discharged to the Fraser River in any event, so it’s clean water,” Battison says. “It was a pipe that takes water from the tailings facility to the mill and it had developed a leak. We’re required to report such matters and report any kind of a spill.”

Tsilhqot’in National Government chair and Tl’etinqox (Anaham) chief Joe Alphonse  is concerned about the mine water flowing into the Fraser River.

“I think it’s something worth reporting on. Those are fish-bearing streams and there are huge concerns,” Alphonse says.



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

Just Posted

Interior Health has issued an overdose alert for 100 Mile House.
Interior Health issues overdose alert for 100 Mile House

Health officials encourage users to be careful and spread the word.

Women’s Contact Society community liaison Eileen Alberton with her dogs Luigi, left, and Sami enjoys a daily walk in Big Lake. (Photo submitted)
Women’s wellness focus of International Women’s Day events in Williams Lake

In its third year, the event will be offered virtually

A snowfall warning has been issued for Williams Lake and Quesnel. (Black Press Media)
Snowfall warning issued for Cariboo region

Between 10 to 15 cm expected

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

Williams Lake’s YBC Bowlers Remy LeBlanc (back from left), coach Kevin McAlpine, Kara-lynn McAlpine, coach Lindsey Kelley, coach Lisa Mcalpine, Avrel Kidney (middle from left), Weston Kelly, Renee O’Hara, Lily Stewart, Brandon LeBlanc, Serena Kidney (front from left), Elsa Kunka and Colton Lendvoy have managed to carry on through the COVID-19 pandemic while following health guidelines. (Greg Sabatino photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Youth bowlers still throwing strikes, despite pandemic

Young bowlers have been able to carry on relatively unaffected due to the nature of the sport

Abbotsford’s Kris Collins turned to TikTok out of boredom when the provincial COVID-19 lockdown began in March 2020. She now has over 23 million followers on the video app. Photo: Submitted
Internet famous: Abbotsford’s Kris Collins is a TikTok comedy queen

Collins has found surprise stardom alone with a phone

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

Pig races at the 145th annual Chilliwack Fair on Aug. 12, 2017. Monday, March 1, 2021 is Pig Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Feb. 28 to March 6

Pig Day, Canadian Bacon Day and Grammar Day are all coming up this week

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

Doctors and counsellors warn of an increase in panic attacks, anxiety, depression and suicide ideas between ages 10 to 14, in Campbell River. ( Black Press file photo)
Extended pandemic feeding the anxieties of B.C.’s youth

Parents not sure what to do, urged to reach out for help

Kara Sorensen, diagnosed with lung cancer in July, says it’s important for people to view her as healthy and vibrant, rather than sick. (Photo courtesy of Karen Sorensen)
B.C. woman must seek treatment overseas for inoperable lung cancer

Fundraising page launched on Karen Sorensen’s behalf, with a goal of $250,000

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

Most Read