Imperial Metals (TSX:III, Stock Forum) still a little punch-drunk from the beating it took in the market after announcing the colossally destructive tailings pond breach that released an estimated five million cubic metres of sludge into local waterways, announced a little good news for residents living within the water ban surrounding Quesnel Lake and Quesnel River located in northern BC.
According to the news release, the water in both Quesnel Lake and Quesnel River were tested and met safe drinking guidelines as set out by both provincial and federal governing bodies.
The BC Ministry of Environment was also quick to note that it felt that the “impact to aquatic life and fish is not expected”, which is good news considering this year's salmon run is anticipated to be the biggest in recent history.
The minister responsible for mining in British Columbia also stepped up to the plate by stating residents affected by the spill may have dodged the bullet because Mount Polley Mine was not acid generating, therefore caustic chemicals do not leach out of the rocks and into the water.
The company stated that it was clearing the debris from Quesnel Lake with recovery of the log boom onto land commencing tomorrow.
A preliminary Environmental Impact Assessment and Action Plan has been submitted to the Province of British Columbia yesterday and the company is working with provincial regulators to carry out the Action Plan.
There was another community meeting held in Likely, BC, today where the company provided further details to residents regarding the cleanup and stabilization of the mine site.
So nobody died and the environment may have gotten a pass on this one, but does this make the company any less culpable for what seems to be bad engineering and the alleged gross negligence when it came to ignoring continued warnings that go back to 2011? Should government agencies be considered complicit in this affair for failing to force the company to act?
This spill, regardless of toxicity, has firmly placed a thumb in the eye of BC miners, hurting an already besmirched industry when it comes to environmental standard adherence. The public and the environment deserve better than the, “Oops, sorry, well at least we didn't kill anything” approach. There needs to be a legal process at the end of this and quite frankly, heads should roll.
Shares were up 6.48% on the news to $10.35 per share.
Currently there are 74.9m outstanding shares with a market cap of $775.7 million.