PHOTOS: One of Canadas Costliest, Most Contaminated Mine Sites

PHOTOS: One of Canada’s Costliest, Most Contaminated Mine Sites r1 ... Share Tweet Forward Last-minute Charges Laid Against Mount Polley in Private Prosecution

By Carol Linnitt

In a surprise eleventh-hour move, indigenous activist and former Chief of the Xat’sull First Nation, Bev Sellars, filed charges against the Mount Polley Mining Corporation, owned by Imperial Metals, for the mine disaster that saw 24 million cubic metres of mine waste released into Quesnel Lake, three years ago.

The 15 charges, 10 under the B.C. Environmental Management Act and five under the B.C. Mines Act, were brought as part of a private prosecution against Mount Polley that can potentially be taken over by the new provincial government. Read more.

After the Mining Rush: A Visit to Faro Mine, One of Canada’s Costliest, Most Contaminated Sites

By Matt Jacques

The Yukon's Faro Mine was once the world’s largest open-pit lead and zinc mine. In operation from 1969 to 1998, when its last owner declared bankruptcy, the mine once generated more than 30 per cent of the Yukon's economic activity.

Now, Faro Mine is considered the second-worst contaminated site in Canada.

Remediation is due to begin in 2022, more than 20 years after the mine was abandoned, and is estimated to cost $500 million. Read more.

New B.C. Government Inherits Toxic Legacy as Tulsequah Chief Buyer Backs Away from Abandoned, Leaky Mine

By Judith Lavoie

The Tulsequah Chief mine, a zinc and copper mine close to the Alaska border, has been leaking acid mine drainage into the Tulsequah River since it was first shut down in 1957 and attempts to re-open the mine have failed, along with a multitude of promises to clean up the site.

Two companies have gone bankrupt during their ownership of the Tulsequah Chief, with the current owner, Chieftain Metals, declaring bankruptcy last September and there are now reports that Black Loon Metals has backed away from a potential deal to take over the site. Read more.

Canada’s Environmental Fines are Tiny Compared to the U.S.

By Carol Linnitt

Last week marked the three-year anniversary of the Mount Polley mine disaster, which sent 24 million cubic metres of mining waste into Quesnel Lake, making it one of the worst environmental disasters in Canadian history.

Adding insult to injury, under the federal Fisheries Act Mount Polley can only receive a maximum of $12 million in fines: $6 million for causing harm to fish and fish habitat and $6 million for dumping deleterious substances without a permit into fish bearing waters.

Compare that with the estimated $40 million in Mount Polley cleanup costs borne by B.C. taxpayers, and then take into account that in 2016, Imperial Metals generated over $428 million in revenue and owns more than $1.5 billion in assets, according to the company’s annual report. r34


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