July 8, 2016 9:10 pm

Mount Polley mine owner sues over dam design


VANCOUVER – The owner of the Mount Polley mine in British Columbia’s Interior has sued two engineering firms for damages over a disastrous dam collapse two years ago.

Imperial Metals (TSX:III) has filed a lawsuit in B.C. Supreme Court alleging negligence and breach of contract by Knight Piesold and AMEC, now Amec Foster Wheeler.

None of the allegations has been proven in court; neither company has filed a statement of defence and neither immediately responded to requests for comment.

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

The lawsuit alleges a flawed tailings storage facility was designed and monitored by Knight Piesold from the late 1980s to 2011, and then by AMEC until its collapse in August 2014.

The suit alleges both firms failed to undertake necessary, proper and reasonable investigation of the subsurface conditions underlying the facility, resulting in an inadequate safety standard.

As a result, the suit alleges, the dam failed, spilling 24 million cubic metres of waste and water into nearby lakes and rivers and forcing the mine to close until recently.

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