Media Statement: August 6, 2014
Testing and Cleanup is the priority for Mount Polley mine breach
For Immediate Release
Victoria B.C. – The tailings pond breach at the Mount Polley copper and gold mine near Likely B.C. is estimated to have released 10 billion litres of potentially contaminated water, and 4.5 million cubic metres of metals-laden fine sand. All of the mine tailings are an eco – system and financial risk flowing into the creeks, rivers and lakes of the Cariboo region, possibly into the Fraser system, just as salmon return This is an unprecedented situation for the province, with both the company and the government appearing ill-prepared to respond.
Stark warnings to the residents of the region: ‘do not even touch the water’ and now, two days after the breach, a local state of emergency has been declared. The immediate concern is ensuring downstream drinking water is safe for use, Longer term, there are questions on how far the contaminated sediment will spread through the river and lake systems, the potential effects on groundwater and on fisheries and wildlife.
“The problem now is not what we do know, but what we don’t know” said Andrew Weaver. “I have asked the Minister of Environment to consider independent testing of the water and sediment mixture to reassure local residents, and everyone potentially affected downstream, that the information is complete and impartial”
Mat Wright – Press Secretary, Andrew Weaver MLA
1 250 216 3382
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