One year after the Mt. Polley disaster, Hazeltine Creek now resembles a dry canyon. Photo by Kim Goforth.
• Mining in BC could cost BC taxpayers more than a mine produces in its entire lifetime; that’s the bottom line. The Mount Polley Mine, owned by Imperial Metals, is a prime example.
Most BC mines are like nuclear power plants in that mine wastes and toxic heavy metals must be managed for over a thousand years. As long as it rains and snows, heavy metals must be filtered out of the mine wastewater, even when the mine is closed. No toxic wastewater is allowed to leave the mine site and enter into the environment. This is the theoretical mandate – to prevent pollution – of the Ministry of Environment, which failed miserably in preventing the Mount Polley Mine collapse.
Last year on August 4, the Mount Polley Mine tailings dam burst, s