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Mount Polley Mine: Waste still leaking from tailing dam

One month ago, on August 4th 2014, a tailings dam breached at the Imperial Metals Mount Polley mine in British Columbia. The Imperial Metals mine is an open pit copper and gold operation and the spill sent a torrent of waste and debris into the surrounding waterways.1

In May this year the company exceeded tailing pond heights resulting in an advisory warning from the province. Each year the company had increased the height of the tailing pond by three to four meters to contain more waste and was approximately 35m high when it breached.2

In September inspectors revisited the mine to find that there were still small leaks in the tailings pond and were concerned that with the upcoming rainy season the dam would once again be at risk.3 The impact of this spill will last for decades, with the heavy metals released sinking to the bottom of the lake where they will enter the food chain and impact important nurseries of fish.4

According to Morningstar Fairholme Capital Management LLC is the largest investor in Imperial Metals corp but also Blackrock Investment Management and Manulife Asset Managment5


  1. Globe and Mail.http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/tailings-pond-capacity-under-scrutiny/article20072768/ []
  2. Globe and Mail.http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/tailings-pond-capacity-under-scrutiny/article20072768/ []
  3. Mining.com http://www.mining.com/waste-has-just-stopped-leaking-from-mount-polley-mine-44983/?utm_source=digest-en-mining-140910&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=digest []
  4. Mining.com.http://www.mining.com/waste-has-just-stopped-leaking-from-mount-polley-mine-44983/?utm_source=digest-en-mining-140910&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=digest []
  5. Morningstar http://investors.morningstar.com/ownership/shareholders-overview.html?t=IPMLF&region=USA accessed 16.09.2014 []