In light of the tailings breach at the Mount Polley mine on August 4, 2014, the BC chief inspector of mines issued orders to the owners of all permitted tailings dams to review the safety of their impoundment structures at mines and to establish where improvements are required.
The orders expedited the regular annual dam safety inspections (DSI) from the normal March 30, 2015, deadline to December 1, 2014. The orders also required mine managers to have the DSI reviewed by an independent qualified professional engineer, update and test the emergency preparedness and response plan, complete a dam break inundation study, and summarise in an attending letter commitments for completing the recommended work along with a schedule for implementing the work. All the required documents were to be submitted by December 1, 2014.
Since November 2014, Hatch has been assisting the ministry with review of all the submissions from the 60 permitted metal and coal mines in BC. Hatch has also been supporting the ministry in engaging with local First Nations communities to communicate the results of these reports.
This phase of the project is scheduled to be completed by March. The Vancouver and Niagara Falls offices are also working on the project.