Aerial photo shows upstream dike and sumps to contain tailings at Mount Polley mine

Mount Polley dike completed, investigators move in

New dike makes breach safe, allows downstream work on sumps to prevent further tailings to escape as mine investigation continues

An upstream dike has been completed at Mount Polley Mine, allowing investigators to probe the site of the original Aug. 4 dam breach.

The new structure is to make the breach area safe for inspection and work below, not to repair the original breach or retain water in the tailings pond, said Steve Robertson, Imperial Metals vice-president for corporate affairs.

“We’ve finished construction of the upstream dike, and now we’re establishing the sumps on the upstream side of that, and that will intercept the water that’s going to continue to flow out of the tailings,” Robertson said in an interview Friday. “If anything should get past that, we’ll have another sump outside of the breach that will capture any water that comes out through the breach and make sure that it gets put into the reclaim system.”

The sumps act as settling ponds, with the water pumped back up to another pit on the site of the copper-gold mine near Williams Lake.

Robertson said the continued work addresses the Ministry of Environment‘s non-compliance notice issued to the company Sept. 9, regarding discharge of water into the Hazeltine Creek channel.

Most of the available mine employees are back at work, with about 30 working on cleanup around Quesnel Lake. Work is expected to continue until there is too much snow cover to continue.

The environment ministry released more water test results Thursday, showing water collected at various sites and depths in the area remains safe to drink.

The immediate area of the tailings spill remains a “do not use” zone, and Interior Health advises local residents to avoid drinking cloudy water.


Just Posted

Editor’s view: A Hopeful start to the community’s first 10 km run

Good mix of pomp and circumstance, variable terrain and silliness at Sunday’s run

Lower Mainland could see spring flurries

Snow expected at higher elevations

Auditors couldn’t tell if Fraser Health executives bought booze on taxpayers’ dime

Review from 2014 says one administrator bought Bose headphones on company credit card

Experts detect risk of rock avalanche above Bridal Falls near Chilliwack

Risk in the one-in-10,000-year is minimal but triggers FVRD to direct growth elsewhere

VIDEO: Olympic medalist teaches swimming in Hope

Brent Hayden fondly remembers local swim meet from his youth

Vancouver Aquarium’s resident octopus released into ocean

Staff let the Giant Pacific octopus go into the waters near Bowen Island so she can reproduce

Where Canadians buy real estate abroad: report

Hot Spots: Top 30 home-buying destinations for Canadians in the Americas

Ban on grizzly bear hunt, new rules take effect April 1

Taxidermists, tanners will have to report on any grizzly bears or parts brought to them

Ontario father grief stricken over murder of ex-wife and children

‘No words to explain,’ grieving father of slain teens says in statement

LISTEN: Retired broadcaster gives voice to Fraser Valley history

Heritage buff Mark Forsythe introduces Valley Voices, a podcast featuring local history.

Russian Embassy calls Trudeau’s criticism of Putin unproductive

The Russian Embassy is firing back at Trudeau for criticizing President Vladimir Putin

Murder charge upgraded for man accused in Toronto gay village death

Man accused the death of a woman in the Toronto gay village had charge upgraded after new evidence

Former NHL player Theo Fleury visits B.C. First Nations community

Abuse survivor Theo Fleury has been working with communities focusing on healing since 2009 and visited Esketemc First Nation in the Cariboo this week.

City to lobby province after councillor accused of crime refused to resign

Dave Murray was sentenced to nine months for a sexual assault that occurred 26 years ago

Most Read