June 23, 2016 5:37 pm
Updated: June 23, 2016 6:54 pm

Mount Polley Mine allowed to reopen almost two years after environmental disaster


A gold and copper mine in British Columbia’s Interior is reopening nearly two years after its tailings pond collapsed and set off an environmental disaster.

In August 2014, a massive breach at the Mount Polley Mine site sent 24 million cubic meters of waste and water into nearby rivers and lakes.

A provincial government official says the mine has been given approval to go back to full production a year after it was approved for restricted operations.

READ MORE: B.C. government issues conditional permit to reopen Mount Polley mine

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In January 2015, an independent engineering investigation report concluded the dam failed because the strength and location of a layer of clay under the dam wasn’t taken into account during the design process.

It made 19 recommendations directed at the operator, the mining industry, professional groups and the government regulator to prevent another such disaster.

Numerous environmental impact reports conducted after the spill found that concentrations of metals in fish were similar to those in fish elsewhere and surface water tests showed it to be non toxic.

READ MORE: B.C. brings in new oversight rules for mining

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