Just days after charges were filed in Williams Lake Provincial Court over the 2014 breach of one of it’s tailings ponds, Mount Polley Mine released news that it has a positive water balance.
What that means is that there is more yearly rainfall at the site than there is evaporation.
The company is now looking for an amendment to alter the route used to feed water into Quesnel Lake.
The release says these changes would be implemented by changing some of the routing of the currently authorized discharge to Quesnel Lake, however, the company says the water originates from the same sources as the water currently being discharged and will be subject to the same treatment.
Mount Polley has been discharging treated water into Quesnel Lake from its water treatment plant since December 1 of last year and they state the lake water quality has been carefully monitored since that time.
In the release the company says the water surplus was forecast before the mine started operation and was discussed with neighbouring communities during the original consultations that were carried out, along with the Environmental Assessment process, during the 1990s.
The new report recommends the firm approach water discharge in two phases: firstly, remove suspended particulates with a water treatment plant using modern technology, and then discharge the treated water at depth into Quesnel Lake; and, secondly, continue to undertake studies of passive treatment, with a goal to distribute the treated water to the local watersheds.
Mount Polley with the recommendations for the interim and long term water management plan is encouraging everyone in the community to review the Technical Assessment Report available on the Imperial Metals web site.