The mining sector may be struggling, but it is still big business in British Columbia. According to the Northern Miner,mining is “one of the hottest sectors of the Canadian stock market.” At the beginning of this year, there were 702 British Columbia based mineral exploration and mining companies listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange and TSXV exchanges. Some of the A BC Liberal party’s biggest campaign contributors are mining companies. Though KGHM Ajax Mines is not one of them, having forked out a mere $55,450,1 a new mining start would definitely bolster Premier Christy Clark’s image within the industry. Only there is more at stake than money when it comes to a proposed 2,500-hectare open-pit copper and gold mine on the outskirts of the city of Kamloops. This is an area that local first nations consider sacred and after careful deliberation, the Stk’emlúpsemc te Secwépemc Nation says no to Ajax Mines.
Environmental Impacts & The Need For Social License
By Roy L Hales
Twenty-four million cubic meters of silt, metals and water spilled into the adjacent waterways, when the Mount Polley tailings pond dam breached. It has been called one of Canada’s worst environmental disasters. The province’s independent review panel made six recommendations, one of which was that tailings and water should not be mixed anymore in BC. This did not please the mining companies who say dry stacking of tailings would cost too much. The Clark Government appears to concur. An application to restart Mount Polley, with tailings in water, is under consideration. The Secwepemc Peoples regard this as “a violation of sovereignty” which “opens the territory up to further damage.” Is BC setting the stage for another Mount Polley Disaster?
The EOreport looks at the $200 million cost of the Mount Polley disaster and asks, Can Imperial Pay for the Clean-up?
By Roy L Hales
With the cost of the Mount Polley clean-up expected to exceed $200 million, some question whether Imperial Metals will be able to pay for it. The government only holds $14.5 million in financial security for the Mount Polley mine and Imperial Mines allegedly has a $15 million in “interruption of business” insurance. Can Imperial Pay for the Clean-up?
In the wake of the Mount Polley Disaster, the ECOreport asks can Christy Clark’s Government be trusted?
Questions arising from the Mount Polley tailings pond breach:
Is BC’s Liberal government in the pockets of industry?
Can large corporations be trusted to place public safety ahead of profits?
Does the Federal Government have any responsibility for this?
Can Christy Clark’s government be trusted?
“How come no one has to resign?” writes Rafe Mair. “This is a colossal screwup by the government of British Columbia. Is no one to blame? Whatever happened to the notion of ministerial responsibility?”
By Roy L Hales
On August 4, the Mount Polley Mine tailings pond breached, discharging 4.5 million cubic metres of metals-laden fine sand into the surrounding lakes and rivers. Even as Interior Health lifted the “do not use water advisory” for communities north of where the Quesnel River narrows, questions of government incompetence are surfacing.