Wild Border Watersheds

Imperial Metals CEO apologizes for tailings pond breach (Business Vancouver)

Ten million gallons of water released when a tailings pond dam for the Mount Polley mine collapsed should not pose a danger to people or fish, Brian Kynoch, CEO for Imperial Metals Corp. (TSX:III), said at a press conference this afternoon (August 5).

In fact, the worst damage may be to Imperial’s reputation and bottom line - not to mention its stock price, which was down 40.6% on the day to $9.98.

The failure of the tailings pond shut down the company’s most productive mine for an indefinite period and one mining analyst suggested that it could also delay the commissioning of Imperial’s new Red Chris mine.

The Ministry of Environment estimates the dam’s failure released 10 million cubic metres of water (enough to fill 4,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools) and 4.5 million cubic metres of sand into Polley and Quesnel lakes.

Raymond Goldie, an analyst with Salman Partners, likened the incident to a similar one in 1998, when the tailings pond for a mine owned by Boliden in Spain was breached. He said an investigation to determine the cause took eight months.

“I’m sure there’ll be the same thing here, and I find it difficult to imagine Red Chris being allowed to start up before the government assured itself what the cause was of Mount Polley and also assured itself that this wouldn’t happen to Red Chris,” Goldie told Business in Vancouver.

“I think it could delay Red Chris by as much as a year.”

(To read complete source article, click "Business Vancouver")

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