New mines proposed for north-west B.C., close to the Alaska border, will have tailings dams similar to the one that collapsed at Mount Polley, despite recommendations of an expert panel that companies use other methods of storing waste, says an analysis written for a coalition of Canadian and U.S non-governmental organizations.
The new analysis, Post-Mount Polley: Tailings Dam Safety in British Columbia, underlines the need for the province to immediately bring in firmer legislation and says it is time B.C. lived up to commitments to make the mining industry safer.
The expert panel report on the 2014 Mount Polley disaster — which sent 25 million cubic metres of slurry and waste water flooding into lakes and rivers surrounding the mine — recommended best available practices and technology be used for tailings storage, including dry stack technology where appropriate.
However, four major B.C. mines in the Alaska/B.C transboundary region are failing to implement those recommendations, meaning a similar dam breach could threaten the area’s major salmon rivers, says the report released Tuesday.
It was renowned English writer Samuel Johnson who once said “Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.” Unfortunately, the original context of his quote has been...