Mount Polley mine waste leaks continued for weeks after breach, says B.C. government

The Canadian province of British Columbia has issued a formal warning to Imperial Metals (TSX:III) after an inspection to the Mount Polley mine found waste was still leaking from its breached tailing dam facility a month after it burst.

Inspectors from the Ministry of Environment, who were at the mine September 5, found waste was still dripping from the tailings pond that collapsed over a month ago.

The leaks have now stopped, but the inspectors are worried that the upcoming rainy season will put the area at risk again.

The Ministry hit Imperial Metals with an “advisory letter” warning that it was violating environmental laws.

The document, dated September 9,  states that while the authority understands that there are challenges around working at the spill site, it also believes “more action” could be taken to ensure greater environmental protection in a “more timely manner.”

The breach sent the equivalent of 2,000 Olympic swimming pools of mining waste into the creek, tearing a swath as much as 45 metres wide down the previously metre-wide waterway.