Murray Edwards

Christy Clark Worried Mount Polley Spill Would Harm New Mine Construction, New Docs Show

Mount Polley Mine Disaster

By Jeremy J.Nuttall for The Tyee.

In the hours after the 2014 Mount Polley mine disaster, authorities were already concerned laws had been broken and the premier’s office was worried fallout from the tailing pond breach would “get in the way” of other planned mines, documents provided to The Tyee reveal.

Almost three years after the disaster, and weeks away from a deadline to lay charges under B.C.’s environment act, no charges have been laid and no fines levied.

The government’s initial reaction to the dam’s collapse is revealed in hundreds of pages of emails and other communications obtained through a freedom of information request and provided to The Tyee by Jessica Ross, an independent researcher and member of the BC Freedom of Information and Privacy Association.

Ross said she filed the FOI request almost three years ago and only received the documents July 4.

‘Industrialization of the Wilderness’: Wade Davis on the Northwest Transmission Line

An ugly thread of misspent taxpayer dollars, environmental destruction and conflict-of-interest — backed by a government beholden to the mining industry — runs along the recently completed Northwest Transmission Line, charges acclaimed explorer and scholar Wade Davis.

The $716-million transmission line, budgeted in 2010 at $404-million, snakes 344 kilometres into B.C.’s wilderness, from north of Terrace to Bob Quinn Lake, and, to the alarm of downstream Southeast Alaska residents, the line is opening the area to mining in the headwaters of vital salmon-bearing rivers.

Those concerns have grown exponentially since the Mount Polley tailings dam collapsed in August 2014, sending 24-million cubic metres of toxic debris flowing into Hazeltine Creek and Quesnel Lake, and groups in B.C. and Alaska are warning that a Mount Polley-type disaster in the area known as the Sacred Headwaters, where acidity is likely to be high, would wipe out the multi-billion dollar fishing and tourism industries on both sides of the border.

Tahltans Blockade Imperial Metals’ Red Chris Mine in Response to Mount Polley Spill

Tahltan Roadblock, Red Chris Mine

Imperial Metals is experiencing troubled times.

After the catastrophic breach of a toxic tailings pond at its Mount Polley mine on August 4th, British Columbians across the province have called into question the safety of the company’s other mega mine projects.

The Red Chris mine, located in B.C.’s northwestern corner is now under intense scrutiny by protestors from the Tahltan Nation who are blocking access to the company’s site, saying they won’t leave until independent reviewers address mine safety concerns.

On August 8th, the Klabona Keepers, headed by a group of mostly women elders, set up two camps, blocking each of the two access roads to the mine. Trucks are parked across the roads and makeshift wooden barricades have been erected to keep company vehicles from entering.

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