Saturday, August 16, 2014

Yes, red tape may interfere with business

Mount Polley operator was raising height of tailings dam at time of breach, Wendy Stueck, Globe & Mail, August 15 2014
"Crews were working to raise the tailings dam at the Mount Polley mine by up to four metres before the structure failed and sent a torrent of waste and debris into surrounding waterways.

"Imperial Metals Corp., the Vancouver-based company that operates the mine, had also asked the Ministry of Environment for a permit to release more treated effluent from its tailings pond. That permit was pending when the dam gave way on Aug. 4."
Mining people are complaining that, if BC had allowed changes to the tailings dam without inconvenient and costly engineering studies, the breach could have been delayed well beyond August 4. Alternatively, had millions of litres of toxic waste water and sludge been withheld, or released quietly, there would have been no public concerns about poisonous effluents and no need for taxpayers to spend hundreds of millions on cleanup.

The industry is disappointed, because it expected an absence of regulation after BC's Minister of Graft and Corruption promised to,
"conduct business more efficiently and eliminate red tape and unnecessary administration."
Miners say that had government lived up to its promises, contamination of soils and water could have continued without public notice or interruption.

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  1. Bitumen Bill is about to announce an independent panel to investigate Mt. Polley. It will be interesting to take a close look the chosen few to see just how independent they are.

  2. I thought conservation officers were investigating

  3. If you look at the numbers, the numbers of what was released, the size of the pond 16 square kilometres, there should only have been one meter depth before breach. The dam was 35meters high with one meter freeboard. How can this be??
    I understand the ground may not be level but the parameter doesn't change and they were raising the height four meters a year.

  4. Wait a few years and see what this is going to cost-- when the people start a class action lawsuit against the mine and the province of B C. They are telling everyone it is safe to drink the water in order to avoid the cost of cleaning this mess up. This sludge will be coming down every year with high water in the spring. This reminds me of the PG&E disaster that the company worked so hard to cover up in the United States. Just watch the movie Erin Brockovich , this was based on what really happened. Could someone fill some of those big water bottles with this so called drinkable water and have it delivered to Christy and her band of incompetent baboons in Victoria and have them all down a bottle in front of news cameras.

  5. Alexandra Morton at Mount Polley spill site ,this is very profound, powerful and honest!

  6. Harv O input

  7. Mine Minister Bill Bennett is accountable for this statement of his in the Annual Report Page 15

    Waste Discharge
    All resource extraction activities occurring in B.C. must meet the Province’s strict environmental standards. Mining operations can only discharge effluent, emissions or solid waste under the terms of specific waste discharge permits. Building on this long-standing level of protection, the Province is working with the mining industry and other agencies to develop the Water and Air Baseline Monitoring Guidance Document for Mine Proponents and Operators. The document will provide certainty by describing baseline environmental studies in areas including air quality, water quality and quantity, groundwater, hydrology, sediment quality and geological conditions.

  8. When elected officials and the courts they appoint and preside over are captured, and therefore useless where justice is required, it becomes imperative to choose another route to achieve a satisfactory resolution. In this case, because Imperial is a public company (III), one could challenge them in that arena by attempting to gain remedy in a manner specific to that context. Some of these are 1) shareholder class action; The company has lost almost 50% of its market cap prior to the tragedy. It is crucial to establish their culpability and demonstrate that it was corporate/fiduciary recklessness, malfeasance and/or malpractice of the highest order such that the shareholders were egregiously detrimented as well as the greater community being damaged for generations. 2) Facile protests based on valid eco concerns or morality trangressions will go nowhere. Collectively we are all desensitized to them. Protests must occur, but they need to focus energy where meaningful, catalysing results are possible. For example; a future shareholder moratorium in the form of a type of revolt against the stock. Do you know if you own any of their shares in your RSP? How about in any of your mutual funds? The company would shudder at the thought that the demand for their stock could evaporate in short order because of this event. Investors could insist that they want no part of this radioactive company in their portfolios and that demand would have to be executed by their financial service provider. Yes - the stock would be driven down further and a capital loss would then be have to be factored into the calculus of the portfolio, but that is the price of accountability in this scenario when the usual options have been corrupted. 3) This entire tragedy needs to be viewed through the prism of criminality. What did management know and when did they know it? What decisions were made, avoided, or delayed that resulted in this potentiality actualising? The captain of the Exxon Valdez (Hazelwood) was tried for felonies, but only convicted of lesser offences. The end result has to be different this time if we really want the future to be diferent; even if that means that a CEO or some directors end up doing some time.

  9. imperial metals plans two mines in the clayoquot sound area. clayoquot sound is deemed an UNESCO Biosphere reserve, so why are they getting carte blanche to blow off the top of catface mountain for a gold mine.
    Imperial Metals is also planning two mining projects in Clayoquot Sound. Chitaapi (Catface Mountain) in Ahousaht territory, contains low-grade copper-molybdenum ore. Catface Mountain mine is a mountain-top removal scheme that would take place only 3 km from the village of Ahousat. Fandora, a potential gold mine, would be at the head of Tranquil Valley, on Tla-o-qui-aht territory, for which the provincial government is currently reviewing an application for exploration. They have not consulted with the Tla-o-qui-aht, who are opposed to mining in their homelands.

    According to Sacheen of Ancestral Pride Ahousaht Sovereign Territory, “We, as sovereign Indigenous people and nations, will continue to protect our waters and lands from industrial genocide. Imperial Metals management is pursuing destructive mining projects in sensitive, highly valued ecosystems and has not obtained our free prior and informed consent for their operations. Imperial Metals is not welcome on sovereign Ahousaht territory.”

    and a third one on the adams river which is home to the world's largest sockeye run: what kind of fool allows this to occur?

    The Ruddock Creek project is located near Tum Tum lake in the headwaters of the Upper Adams River. The project is in the advanced stage of exploration but has not obtained the consent of Neskonlith for current or any future activities. The Secwepec territory includes the Adamas River Watershed – home to the world’s largest sockeye salmon run and the location of Imperial’s Ruddock Creek lead and zinc project. The area is of great importance to the Neskonlith who continue to use and occupy the area for hunting, gathering, education and ceremonies. In addition to being the headwaters of the Adams River, the area is also home to threatened mountain caribou and grizzly bear populations.

  10. JUst a sign of the times. Same as in Ferguson and all over the US and in Canada. The rise of the police state is another symptom that the right wing are in control. When they have too much power, this is what happens.

  11. The last I heard this government is going to let them leave this mess without cleaning anything up. Could someone tell me why there are tailings ponds at all if they pose no harm to anything? Is there any way that we can impeach this pile of shit that is running this province? How many things can happen before the people in the liberal party demand that their MLAs put a stop to this insanity. Has the all mighty dollar become more important than life itself? It would seem so in this province.

  12. Of course the the water in all these so called ponds are drinkable, that's why these mines store it.
    Just stick in a straw and drink it. This is what Bill (bovine waste) Bennett is peddling and most of the mouth breathing knuckle dragging idiots that voted for these Liberal cretins are buying it.
    Geezus, when will it end.



  15. Slightly off topic, do you have any thought re the port of vancouver conducting its own study and allowing thermal coal to come into Frasser Surrey Docks. Seems like the port might me a bit self serving. 20 jobs created and the Americans get their coal to market at the expense of Southern BCs citizens 13



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