Local government officials continue to welcome Thursday’s news of Mt. Polley receiving the green light to return to full operations.
Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett says that anytime you can make families more secure and create jobs as the best news there is.
She says she has no concerns that the economy is being put first before the environment.
“This has gone through the most rigorous processes for the last 2 years you could ever imagine. When it comes to doing any kind of resource development in this province, the scrutiny is unbelievable.”
The decision for Mt. Polley to return to full operations was approved before a long-term water management plan which government says Imperial Metals has until June 30th to submit a draft technical assessment report in order to continue operations.
This Barnett, says does not concern her either.
“These are professional people who put their careers on the line. It is not a political decision, it is a statutory decision maker and there are millions in, in millions of dollars spent on ensuring to make sure that the safety of the environment is there.”
At the time of the August 2014 breach, the mine employed nearly 400 employees and contributed to an estimated 1,000 indirect jobs including suppliers and contractors.
“It’s been a long road to get to this point, and I know the decision to allow Mount Polley to return to full operation is welcome news not only for our community but the entire region, said Williams Lake Mayor Walt Cobb. “The full re-start of the mine means workers will have steady, good-paying jobs to support their families. And, it means those families will remain in our community and continue to support our local businesses.”
Mt. Polley has been using Springer Pit, and a water treatment plant to discharge treated water from Hazeltine Creek into Quesnel Lake under their short-term water management plan since November 30, 2015.
Thursday’s approval by statutory decision makers allows the mine to return to full production using the repaired and strengthened tailings storage facility to manage tailings.
It also authorizes Mt. Polley to continue operations in previously permitted areas of the Cariboo Pit and
The Williams Lake Indian Band and Soda Creek Indian Band have yet to comment on the decision and said that they will be issuing a statement next week.
“Work is currently being done to bring together the technical teams, leadership, and community to have discussions regarding a community response and next steps,” states both Band in a media release on Friday.