The first phase of staged layoffs at Imperial Metals’ Mt. Polley Mine is expected to come into effect in a few weeks from now.
“Since the (2014) breach, we’ve been in a negative cash flow position and to continue operating at the mine we have to put ourselves in cash positive position,” says general manager, Dale Reimer.
“This was the only mine plan that would put us in that position.”
Reimer says they are going to continue to mine for the first half of the year in the Cariboo Pit and after that will be running their stockpiles for the latter half of the year.
“Future remediation it’s going to go on for a year or so,” he says. “We’ve done a lot of planting along the (Hazeltine) creek, removed debris. The next stage really is the fish habitat and we have to be finishing all areas for fish habitat. We are regulated a certain extent by weather; water is a big factor and water levels when we can get into the creek to work.”
The staged lay-offs which will be conducted quarterly this year are expected to impact 78 jobs.
Although Reimer did not have a figure on how much the money has been spent on remediation work, Steve Roberton, Imperial Metals vice president of corporate affairs said in September 2017 that they were close of coming in on their $67.4 million dollar budget.
Construction of the direct pipeline from the water treatment plant to Quesnel Lake was completed at the end of November according to a December 2017 Community Update.
The pipeline will allow treated water from the waste treatment plant to longer be deposited into Hazeltine Creek.
Approximately 350,000 tonnes of tailings were also removed from 13.9 hectares in the Polley Flats.