On April 29, statutory decision-makers with the Ministry of Energy and Mines and the Ministry of Environment authorized an amendment of the restricted operations permits for Mount Polley Mining Corporation, allowing the mine to extract an additional one million tonnes of ore.
The amendments to the Mines Act and Environmental Management Act permits for Mount Polley Mine will increase the mine’s allowable production level from four million tonnes to five million tonnes of ore, and will allow the Mount Polley to continue restricted operations while its application to return to full production is under review.
The tailings storage facility (TSF) will not be utilized during restricted operations. Mount Polley Mine will continue to use Springer Pit, an existing open pit on the mine site, to manage the tailings.
However, construction of buttresses around the embankments of the TSF continues to ensure that required factors of safety are being achieved.
Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett says this is good news for employees, including those from 100 Mile House and area, their families and communities.
“Employees’ families and communities have persevered since the breach of the mine’s tailing pond [on Aug. 4, 2014] and Mt Polley has done what it could to keep as many employees employed as possible.
“I have had the opportunity to visit the site after the breach and during the cleanup and what an amazing job all have done.”