BC’s mining industry was on standstill Friday morning as an independent investigation panel released their findings into what caused one of the province’s worst mining disasters on August 4th, 2014.
Dr. Norberg Morganstern, one of the three investigators, says the Mt Polley tailings pond spill that released millions of cubic meters of toxic waste into surrounding watersheds was due to a critical design flaw.
Morganstern says although the panel found that further inspections of the tailings storage facility would not have prevented failure, they did spend some time assessing the oversight of management.
Steven Vick, also one the panel’s investigators, says the panel has made 7 recommendations to provincial government as changes need to occur in order to ensure that such a disaster does not happen again.
Bill Bennett, Minister of Energy and Mines, addressed media following the panel’s released findings.
When asked if the provincial government would be assessing safety concerns first before economic feasibility of a proposed mine, Bennett says the government will be looking to include that in some of their changes as to how mining is done in the province.
Bennett says the provincial government will be requiring all operating mines to confirm whether foundation materials similar to those at Mt Polley exist below any of their dams by June 30.