Why did Mount Polley fail?
An investigation into the cause of the spill revealed mine engineers failed to account for glacial silt underneath the tailings containment pond, leading to structural insufficiencies that caused the dam’s collapse. No charges or fines have been laid in response to the disaster.
What happened at Mount Polley?
A tailings dam failure at the Mount Polley Mine occurred on August 4, 2014 resulting in the loss of about 17 million cubic meters of water and 8 million cubic meters of tailings/materials into Polley Lake, Hazeltine Creek and Quesnel Lake having significant impact.
How did the Mount Polley mine disaster affect the environment?
24 million cubic metres of mine waste spilled into nearby waterways when the Mount Polley dam breached in 2014. The Mount Polley mine tailings spill that sent more than 24 million cubic metres of mine waste into nearby waterways in 2014 continues to impact lakes, rivers and aquatic ecosystems, according to a new study.
Is Mount Polley mine reopening?
Mount Polley Mine owners are aiming to restart the copper and gold mine by September 2021. “We’re keen to get opened,” Brian Kynoch, president of Imperial Metal, confirmed in an interview with the Williams Lake Tribune.
What is tailings pond breach?
On Aug. 4, 2014, the tailings dam of Imperial Metals Corp.’s Mount Polley copper and gold mine near Likely, British Columbia, Canada, failed, releasing 7.3 million m3 of tailings, 10.6 million m3 of water, and 6.5 million m3 of interstitial water into the environment.
What are tailing ponds used for?
Tailings ponds are engineered dam and dyke facilities used for storage of tailings materials. Tailing ponds are also used to enable water to separate from the tailings. Water from the tailings ponds is recycled back into the extraction process, reducing the use of fresh water from the Athabasca River and other sources.
Where is Mount Polley mine?
Mount Polley is an open pit copper/gold mine with an underground component located in south-central British Columbia, 56 kilometres northeast of Williams Lake.
Who owned the Mount Polley mine?
Mount Polley Mining Corporation
Mount Polley mine is owned and operated by Mount Polley Mining Corporation (MPMC), a subsidiary of Imperial.
What are tailing piles?
Tailings are a type of rock waste from the mining industry. When a mineral product is mined, the valuable portion is usually embedded in a rock matrix called ore. Once the ore has been stripped of its valuable minerals, sometimes through the addition of chemicals, it is piled up into tailings.
How does a tailings dam work?
Tailings dams can be huge in size, as big as lakes, and reach 300 metres high. As the slurry of waste is piped into the dam, the solids settle to the bottom and the water is recycled to be used in the separation process again. Rather than reinforced concrete, tailings dams use earth or rock to create a barrage.