Wild Border Watersheds

British Columbia’s Commitment to Mining Prompts Growing Fisheries Concerns (Fishermen's News Online)

In the wake of the release of an independent expert engineering investigation and review into the Mount Polley mine disaster in British Columbia, a watershed-based conservation group is voicing concerns over approval of a new permit for another BC mine.

Chris Zimmer, Alaska campaign director for Rivers Without Borders, says he questions the provincial government’s decision to grant Imperil Metals, of Vancouver, BC an interim permit for filling and testing its watered tailings facility at the Red Chris Mine, a copper and gold property in Northwest BC. That tailings facility is similar to the one at Mount Polley, which the independent report recommends against, he said.

The lengthy Mount Polley report predicts more dam failures if reforms are not implemented. Specifically, on Page 118 of the report, reviewers said “if the inventory of active tailings dams in the province remains unchanged, and performance in the future reflects that in the past, then on average there will be two failures every 10 years and six every 30. In the face of these prospects, the Panel firmly rejects any motion that business as usual can continue.”

The Red Chris mine sits above the nine lakes of the headwaters of the Iskut River in the Iskut-Stikine watershed, a major salmon producer in the transboundary region.

(To read complete source article, click "Fishermen's News Online")

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