The long-term water management plan for the Mount Polley mine site to discharge effluent into Quesnel Lake has been approved by an independent statutory decision-maker from the Ministry of Environment (MOE).
Imperial Metals Vice President of Corporate Affairs, Steve Robertson calls it good news.
Robertson says the mine life is currently projected to 2022.
The long-term water management plan is expected to be fully in place by fall 2017 and will replace the short-term water management plan that has been in place since Nov. 30, 2015.
The treated water will be sent through a pipe to Quesnel Lake at a depth of 45 metres and 250 metres away from the shore.
Likely resident and Chamber Liaison, Doug Watt calls it disappointing and maintains that Quesnel River should have been considered as an option instead.
Robertson says that the very robust plan had a significant amount of community consultation.
“The MOE has weighted through all of the comments and all of the evidence that has been put forward to them and I think that we have come up with the best plan.”
He says there will be a fairly stringent water monitoring program in place and that they will be constantly monitoring the water.
Prior to approval, the company’s permit application underwent extensive public consultation, including First Nations and local communities, as well as a full technical review from the Cariboo Mine Development Review Committee.
“The permit is good news for the employees of Mount Polley,” said Paul French, president, USW Local 1-425. “I’m glad that the requirements for the permit were met. I want to thank Minister of State for Rural Economic Development Donna Barnett for pushing both management of Mount Polley and the government ministries to get the job done correctly.”