tailings pond

Mon, 2014-08-18 16:53Carol Linnitt
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Soda Creek First Nation Struggles to Cover Costs of Independent Mount Polley Water Testing

Bev Sellers

The Soda Creek First Nation, traditionally called the Xatśūll First Nation, is going to tap into band savings for a community centre to pay for independent scientists to study the local environment in the wake of the Mount Polley mine spill that sent billions of litres of mining waste in Hazeltine Creek and Quesnel Lake.

Bev Sellars, chief of the Soda Creek said ever since the spill occurred it has been difficult to find reliable sources of information.

The reports coming out from mining and the government say everything is fine, but we don’t really believe that,” she said in an interview in Vancouver. “A disaster such as this – there are going to be long term effects.”

Major concerns for her nation have to do with the long-term effects of the spill on Quesnel Lake, which is in the traditional territory of the Soda Creek First Nation and the Williams Lake Indian Band.

Wed, 2014-08-06 15:01Carol Linnitt
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State of Emergency Called for Cariboo Regional District After Mount Polley Mine Tailings Pond Breach

mount polley mine tailings pond breach in BC

Officials with the Cariboo Regional District declared a local state of emergency Wednesday after millions of cubic metres of contaminated tailings water from the Mount Polley mine flooded Hazeltine Creek early Tuesday morning, spilling into Quesnel Lake. Water drinking and water use bans have been issued for Quesnel Lake, Polley Lake, Hazeltine Creek, Cariboo Creek, and the Quesnel and Cariboo River systems, up to the Fraser River, according to the B.C. Ministry of Energy and Mines.

The breach, caused by the collapse of a berm supporting a lake of mining waste that spanned four square kilometres, released an estimated 10 million cubic metres of water and slurry that contains toxic processing wastes including arsenic and mercury into salmon spawning and drinking waters.

The tailings pond at Mount Polley mine, operated by Imperial Metals, was used to dispose of 84,000 kilograms of arsenic, 10,000 kg of cadmium, 38,000kg of lead and 562 kg of mercury in 2013, according to company data released to Environment Canada.

Mon, 2013-02-18 15:49Carol Linnitt
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Tar Sands Tailings Contaminate Alberta Groundwater

The massive tailings ponds holding billions of litres of tar sands waste are leaking into Alberta's groundwater, according to internal documents obtained by Postmedia's Mike De Souza.

An internal memorandum prepared for Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver and obtained through Access to Information legislation says evidence confirms groundwater toxins related to bitumen mining and upgrading are migrating from tailings ponds and are not naturally occurring as government and industry have previously stated.

“The studies have, for the first time, detected potentially harmful, mining-related organic acid contaminants in groundwater outside a long-established out-of-pit tailings pond,” the memo reads. “This finding is consistent with publicly available technical reports of seepage (both projected in theory, and detected in practice).”

This newly released document shows the federal government has been aware of the problem since June 2012 without publicly addressing the information. The study, made available online by Natural Resources Canada in December 2012, was still “pending release” at the time Minister Oliver was briefed of its contents in June.

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