Wild Border Watersheds

Red Chris mine tailings dam design concerns identified (Vancouver Sun)

An independent review of Imperial Metals’ Red Chris mine tailings dam design demanded by the Tahltan First Nation after the Mount Polley collapse has identified concerns.

The Klohn Crippen Berger review — paid for by Imperial Metals — found that the design is feasible if constructed properly.

However, a major design issue is the “high permeability” of the soils the two major earthen dams will be built on, which means if a fine-grained “tailings blanket” does not stop seepage, it could cause stability problems and allow significant water to leak from the storage facility, according to the review obtained by The Vancouver Sun.

KCB is recommending that during early stages of building the tailings storage facility that Imperial Metals’ designers need to monitor the water balance carefully “to prove their design concept.”

In making 22 recommendations, KCB noted that “any failure of the Red Chris impoundment will likely have a much more significant environmental impact than the Mount Polley failure.”

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

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