Mount Polley mine disaster a blow to First Nations cooperation on B.C. mines (Vancouver Sun)
The blow that the Mount Polley mine tailings-pond collapse has dealt to the confidence of B.C. First Nations in mine safety may be the biggest challenge facing the industry following the incident. Mine owner Imperial Metals Corp. experienced an immediate financial hit — its share price plummeted about 40 per cent on news of the failure and of the mine’s indefinite closure, slashing the market value of the company to $760 million from $1.26 billion before the spill.
Mining is a key pillar of Premier Christy Clark’s economic platform, and one new mine slated to be opened later this year is Imperial’s $500-million Red Chris copper-gold mine in B.C.’s remote northwest.
But a statement posted on the website of the region’s Tahltan Central Council late Wednesday suggested Imperial could also be facing trouble on the Red Chris front as a result of the Mount Polley situation.
The online message from Tahltan Central Council president Chad Day states that Red Chris does not have all necessary permits to open, and that an impacts-and-benefits agreement with the Tahltan First Nation has yet to be signed.
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