mine tailings ponds in past decade
Tailings and water from Imperial Metals Mount Polley tailings dam flows into Quesnel Lake. between 2000 and 2012 included a breach of a dike, the discovery of sinkholes and leaked tailings.
The vast majority of the dangerous occurrences involved incidents with equipment, which crashed, sunk into tailings storage facilities or flipped over. In several cases, workers were injured and two workers died. Ministry of Energy and Mines provided details of 49 dangerous occurrences at tailings ponds at the request of The Vancouver Sun following Imperial Metals’ Mount Polley tailings dam collapse on Aug. 4.
The chief inspector of mines’ annual reports provide an annual breakdown of the number of dangerous occurrences, but the mines ministry initially balked at providing details of the dangerous occurrences, requested 10 days ago. Mines Minister Bill Bennett nor chief inspector of mines Al Hoffman were available for comment Monday.
"(The dike breach, the sinkholes and tailings leakage) were contained to the respective mine sites and posed no risk to the public," mines ministry spokesman David Haslam said in a written statement.
Mining Watch Canada program coordinator Ramsey Hart said the dangerous occurrence details should be part of routine disclosure.
"I think the public and even investors would welcome that," said Hart, noting that information on corrective measures and effects is also needed to provide context.
Water passed over the dike into a trap and flooded the area before it could be contained. A machine operator constructed a temporary berm on top of the tailings dike to contain the flow, said the government records.
The Craigmont copper mining operation was closed in 1982, but the mine has been operated since to produce magnetite for the coal industry. Companies are responsible for maintaining tailings facilities at closed mines. The sinkholes were on the tailings beach, an important buffer between the dam’s embankment and water in the pond.
The largest sinkhole was about 0.7 metres in diameter and the surface had dropped about 0.7 metres into the hole, according to the government information. The
Michael Kors handbags outlet Kemess South mine closed in 2011.
Northgate Minerals was purchased three years ago by AuRico Gold, which has responsibility for the Kemess South 375 hectare tailings storage facility and one kilometre
Michael Kors discounts long, 140 metre high dam.
AuRico Gold chief operating officer Peter MacPhail said some changes in geotechnical design were made following the discovery of the sinkholes. There were no further incidents, he said.
MacPhail noted the tailings facility (which is in reclamation mode) receives an annual inspection from geotechnical engineers and has a robust design. "It gets a lot of monitoring. There is still staff up there," he noted.
On Sept. 1, 2004, at Barrick Gold’s Eskay Creek gold silver mine, failure of a flow measuring device on the tailings line caused about 12.5 tonnes of tailings to leak on the ground. The province said all the tailings were recovered. The mine, about 200 kilometres north of Terrace,
replica Michael Kors handbags closed in 2008.
Other incidents involving discharges from tailings storage facilities included:
On May 21, 2002, water ran over the edge of the MSA North pit at Teck’s Line Creek coal operations near Sparwood, causing a mudslide, filling a settling pond and causing muddy water to run into Line Creek. The pipes, part of an old system, were closed after the incident, says the province.
Imperial Metals’ Mount Polley mine had two dangerous occurrences between 2000 and 2012, but neither involved dam safety, according to the mine’s ministry records.
cheap Michael Kors Jan. 12, 2007, a hoe machine used for digging flipped on its side when
fake Michael Kors its track went into a hole created by the flow of a discharge pipe. The machine operator smashed the window, waded out and made it to his pickup truck to call for help.
replica Michael Kors outlet May 19, 2006, a haul truck owned by a contractor rolled over on its side near the lower main embankment of the tailings storage facility. The primary cause of the rollover was excessive speed, government records stated.
The province has said that in May 2014, the water level in Mount Polley’s four square kilometre tailings pond was too high, and that the company was ordered to reduce the level by pumping into adjacent
cheap Michael kors handbags outlet pits.
The definition of dangerous occurrences includes the loss of adequate freeboard (the distance between the water level and top of dam), but no
cheap Michael Kors handbags outlet instances were recorded by the chief inspector of mines between 2000 and 2012.
Incidents in 2013 are still being reviewed and results will be published in December, according to the province.Articles Connexes：