The Provincial Government says it will introduce regulations that will make it an international safety leader for tailings pond facilities. Energy and Mines Minister Bill Bennett announced the new regulations and requirements in response to the Chief Inspector of Mines’ investigation into the Mount Polley Mine disaster in August 2014.
The investigation found the a wall of the tailings pond failed because of a design flaw. It is the largest and most complex investigation and analysis ever done in B.C.
The Chief Inspector delivered 19 recommendations in the report including the mandatory designation of a dam safety manager responsible for overseeing the mind’s water balance and water management plan. Another recommendation calls for independent technical review boards for all mines with tailing ponds.
The tailings pond breach spilled millions of cubic metres of waste water into lakes and rivers downstream from the mine.