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Here is a comment posted on a recent blog item:

Jack,

I have been following your blog since the Mt Polley incident.

I am not sure if you have seen the design yet for the proposed copper project located in the Thompson River Watershed near Vavenby. Here is the link to the Knight Piesold report Appendix 3E. http://a100.gov.bc.ca/appsdata/epic/html/deploy/epic_document_333_38590.html

You will have to click on Appendix 3-E to download the PDF.

It looks like they are submerging PAG which results in a huge amount of water storage ( see attached document which shows the supernatant pond volume increasing every year; similar to Mt Polley). Let us hope they have their water quality model correct otherwise it will be a large treatment plant at the end of the life of mine.

Thought you might be interested in seeing what the BC regulators are being presented with even after the Mt Polley disaster. Will industry change to a more conservative approach to tailings designs?

Enjoy your musings.

I went to the site recommended and downloaded the Executive Summary, the section on Geochemistry, and the section on Closure.  Fascinating writings, particularly coming post-Mt Polley.  I hope some readers of this blog take a look at the report and comment.  For this is a public posting of design documents–worthy of repetition.  Now it remains to be seen if such public posting leads to public reading and comment.  For that, afterall, is the purpose of such public posting of designs for new mines and their tailings facilities.

I note that the closure cost estimate is some $16 M.  Presumably that is the basis of the bond being posted?  Comments on its sufficiency would be of interest.  As would comments on the way they plan to deal with acid generating tailings. As would comments on the above comment/question as to whether this is a more conservative design than Mt Polley.

I have not read in sufficient detail to comment with insight.  And maybe no other BC engineer has any more time or inclination than I have to comment.  That is a pity, but inevitable.  Is this a pointed reminder that in addition to such public postings, maybe we should have public posting of the comments by an Independent Tailings Review Board as Morgenstern recommends in the Mt Polley report?  Again your perspective would be welcome.

If you find the materials at the listed site formidable, rather go to the company’s website at this link.   It seems not to have been updated since 2013.  So the BC regulators are faster and more  up-to-date in their posting.

In the current mining downturn, these numbers are impressive:

The project is expected to employ up to 430 hourly and staff personnel. Based on industry experience, approximately 1,000 to 1,200 jobs will be created in the surrounding communities and elsewhere within the province to provide support to the project.

No wonder the BC government is doing all it can to get the word out about the project.

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Thus far I have refrained from commenting on the fact that Chinese miners are here and more are coming to mine coal in a British Columbia coal mine.  It is the sort of topic crafted to get one into trouble whatever you write.  But maybe the time is now right—considering a report that a Federal Court has agreed to decide if two British Columbia unions have standing to seek an injunction that would stop more Chinese coal miners coming to work at Tumbler Ridge.   (more…)

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A short note to end a sunny day.  There is a report of potential failure of a tailings dam on the news.  Here is what is reported: (more…)

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We thanks another mining company for supporting the arts in British Columbia.  Teck Resources is listed as a Corporate Partner of Ballet BC in the program for last night’s ballet, Bliss. (more…)

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    An earlier piece on racialism in mining (see two postings down) has elicited one fine comment, and a great deal of discussion around the office.  The only discussion I will partially record was at lunch with a young fellow who heads a failing junior-mining company.   He is a miner and a Canadian and I respect his opinions and stories.  Particularly the one I note below on racialism in negotiations to open mines.

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For two very different views of mining in British Columbia, see these links:

The first tells of the proposed Prosperity Mine near Williams Lake.  The open-pit, copper-gold operation would generate $5 billion in “economic activity”  over a projected 20-year life.   The Xeni Gwet’in First Nation opposes the mine because getting water for the mine would involve destruction of Fish Lake described as “a pristine fishing hole under the shadow of Anvil Mountain, the lake is home to a unique subspecies of rainbow trout.” 

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