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UPDATE: Imperial Metals (T.III) dumps 42% on tailings facility breach at Mount Polley mine

Gaalen Engen Gaalen Engen, Stockhouse.com
7 Comments| August 5, 2014


Imperial Metals (TSX:III, Stock Forum) has jumped to respond to an incident which saw the estimated equivalent of 2,000 Olympic pools of mining waste discharge into the waterways of British Columbia's Cariboo region from the tailings pond at its Mount Polley mine located approximately 140 kilometres southeast of Quesnel in northern BC.

 

A water ban was enacted which affected about 300 people, but was estimated to grow since the advisory was expanded to include residents along the Quesnel and Cariboo Rivers.

 

According to the news release, the company stated that the tailings dam breach has been stabilized and it is currently working to mitigate the immediate effects of the discharge. The cause of the breach is still unknown and it was stated that the dam was operating within design specifications and gave no indication of an impending breach.

However, Brian Olding, an environmental consultant who had examined the tailings pond, countered that it was growing at an unsustainable rate as the company built walls higher and higher to hold back the contaminated water.

He then went on to say that the company was seeking to obtain a permit that would allow them to treat and release some of the water to keep the pond size in check.

 

As a result of the breach, Mount Polley mine has been put under care and maintenance and although the damaged area is considered to be relatively small compared to the size of the dam, it is unknown how long it will take to restore operations.

 

The company went on to note that it was working closely with provincial ministries, local agencies and emergency response officials, would provide updates as they became available.

It has been speculated that the company's Red Chris permits will be revoked as a result of the environmental mishap.

 

Imperial Metals was in the news recently when the Vancouver-based company reported its Q2 production results in the middle of July.

 

Shares plummeted 41.07% in morning trading to $9.90 per share.

 

Currently there are 74.9m outstanding shares with a market cap of $742.0 million.

 



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Comments

TedOwens
This very severe environmental impact scenario introduces another supporting example of why mining projects in general should be more closely regulated by provincial ministries while they are in operation. and not just involved during the permitting process. Remote sites are much less often visited and given the known developments through management which led to the disaster, is a precursor to legal reprimands coming down the pipe.
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August 6, 2014
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thebaker
eskretka, the word "dumps" was used in reference to the drop in share price, not the tailings pond. You cannot really call this an accident, and I do not think that the "best" engineering was involved. It sounds more like they pushed the pond beyond it's capacity.
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August 5, 2014
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bestguesstoo
It's always disconcerting to hear about environmental accidents since they hurt the environment and give the environmental extremists more ammunition. Considering the large increase in production in the second quarter (Metal production totaled 12.0 million pounds copper, 11,867 ounces gold and 33,813 ounces silver; increases of 46%, 24% and 35% respectively compared to the first quarter 2014) suspicion mounts regardless of the truth. Of course, accidents do happen but in light of the ...
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August 5, 2014
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Nakate
No way this can be consider an "accident" somebody dropped the ball big time. It a sad day for BC environmental stewardship and the only lesson that can be learn from this is if all the parties involved accept responsibility for screwing up and work to make sure this never happen again!
3.5 stars
August 6, 2014
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keilahgirl
I've been trying to trade the Forex for years now and never could make money. I found a website called Gold Trading Academy which is having a special right now purchased all their videos got some help from the support and now I'm doing my own trading and making money. I will never go back to trading the Forex ever again!
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August 5, 2014
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RLChapman
We all knew this type of thing was just a matter of time. Imperial was warned about this several times and should have to pay whatever price to clean it up period... Too bad the bureaucrats didn't enforce regulations so this didn't happen and potentially all end up in the Fraser river.
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August 7, 2014
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eskretka
I suggest that the word "dumps" is very misleading; this was an accident and it should be reported as such. The mining industry is under severe pressure by environmental groups and government to do the best at considerable expense. We do not live in a perfect world and even the best engineering can fail.
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August 5, 2014
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