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B.C. Mining Industry Committed To Leadership In Safety And Best Practices
The B.C. mining industry welcomes the Provincial Government’s announcement of the completion of all of the Independent Panel recommendations following the Mount Polley tailings facility breach.
In August 2014, there was a breach of the tailings storage facility at the Mount Polley Mine near Williams Lake. Following the incident, the Ministry of Energy and Mines struck an Independent Expert Engineering Panel to review and determine the cause of the breach. Their report was released on January 30, 2015, and included seven recommendations for tailings storage facility management.
Government also ordered mining operations across B.C. to conduct independent third party reviews of all tailings facilities, including an assessment of whether the underlying geological foundation was at risk for the reasons identified as the cause of the breach at Mount Polley. These reviews confirmed there were no immediate risks at any of MABC’s member company operations.
In addition to government actions, the B.C. mining industry has been implementing the Mining Association of Canada’s Toward Sustainable Mining program, which the Expert Panel identified as a leading program to improve corporate governance. Also, MABC struck an industry-led committee of technical experts to assess how to implement the Independent Panel report recommendations. This work allowed industry to be a strong contributor to the review of the Heath, Safety and Reclamation Code for Mines in B.C. Mines.
“Today’s announcement is the conclusion of nearly two years of dedicated work focussed on ensuring the safety and structural integrity of B.C.’s mine tailings storage facilities,” said Karina Briño, President and CEO of the Mining Association of B.C. “MABC appreciated the opportunity to work in collaboration with government, First Nations and labour representatives to develop these updates to the Code. MABC will continue to engage in an open and transparent dialogue with First Nations and all stakeholders regarding industry practices, responsible environmental management and continuous improvement.”
MABC would like thank the members of its industry-led committee as well as the First Nations, labour representatives and industry participants in the B.C. Government’s Code Review Committee led by Chief Inspector Al Hoffman.