Bjorn Dihle inspects the acid mine drainage flowing into the Tulsequah River from a containment pond filled by effluent from the Tulsequah Chief Mine in Northern B.C. (Photo Credit: Christopher Miller - csmphotos.com)

Bjorn Dihle inspects the acid mine drainage flowing into the Tulsequah River from a containment pond filled by effluent from the Tulsequah Chief Mine in Northern B.C. (Photo Credit: Christopher Miller - csmphotos.com)

Funding to support early reclamation work at acid leaking B.C. mine

B.C. Government committing up to $1.575 million for Tulsequah Chief Mine site

The first steps which will eventually lead to the long-term remediation of a historic mixed metal mine polluting the Tulsequah River in northern B.C. is expected to commence this summer.

Accessible only by air or barge within the territory of the Taku River Tlingit First Nation (TRTFN), the Tulsequah Chief Mine has been leaching untreated acid mine water into the river for more than 60 years.

The B.C. Government announced Wednesday, Aug. 12 it has committed spending up to $1.575 million for site preparation and studies to support early reclamation work at the site.

Some of those first steps according to a release by the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources will include replacing and repairing bridges, upgrading the access road, establishing an erosion protection berm and repairing the existing airstrip.

Read More: Studies show Mount Polley Mine breach material re-suspends in Quesnel Lake

“We’ve been working closely with B.C. for over a year now on the remediation plan so it’s really nice to see that the remediation plan is starting to be put into action and that we’ll have some on the ground work happening this year,” said TRTFN mining officer Jackie Caldwell.

“I think there’s a lot of people in the community-Atlin and TRTFN citizens that will be happy to see some of that mess being cleaned up.”

Once the infrastructure is in place to allow the necessary machinery and equipment to be able to enter the area of the mine, Caldwell said they will commence the next phases of remediation.

“Through the winter we’ll be doing the planning of what happens next year,” she said, noting the COVID-19 pandemic could further delay the work.

Read More: Plastics bans, environmental monitoring get short shrift during pandemic

Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, George Heyman said the province has also been working with the government of Alaska over the past year to identify the right actions to properly remediate and close the site.

Data from studies including a light detection and ranging sensor survey (LiDar) which will get topographic information, as well as a multi-year monitoring program will assist in determining the next steps at the mine site, including remedial timelines.

Caldwell said TRTFN which ratified a mining policy last year is in support of responsible and sustainable mining that respects the cultural and traditional significance, and environmental sensitivity of areas.

Read More: B.C. First Nation adopts historic law to protect Fraser River

Aquatic effects monitoring in which the TRTFN collected a variety of samples including sediment, water, fish tissue and aquatic insects last year, will continue this fall.

“It will be something that will be part of the remediation moving forward,” Caldwell said.

“We are looking forward to some really good work in the future and ensuring that our relationship with B.C. is strong and committed.”

The Tulsequah Chief Mine site remains in receivership under a court-appointed receiver.


Do you have a comment about this story? email:
rebecca.dyok@wltribune.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

miningPollution and Air Quality

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Toronto-based director Michelle Latimer was recently scrutinized after years of claiming she was of Algonquin and Metis descent. (CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young)
Haida activist calls for hefty fines, jail time against those who claim to be Indigenous

Filmmaker Tamara Bell proposing the Indigenous Identity Act – to dissuade ‘Indigenous identity theft’

Brett Alexander Jones is wanted on several warrants province-wide, in connection with multiple charges. Jan. 21, 2021. Kitimat RCMP photo
Kitimat RCMP searching for man wanted on several warrants province-wide

Jones is described as a five-foot 10-inches Caucasian man, with blond hair and blue eyes.

Administering naloxone to a person experiencing a benzo-related overdose event won’t help. Naloxone is used to neutralize opioids. (Jenna Hauck/The Progress file photo)
Northern Health warning drug users of potential benzo contamination

The drug does not respond to naloxone, and is being included in street drugs

Businesses continue to struggle under COVID-19 restrictions as the pandemic reaches the one-year mark. (B.C. government)
Another 564 COVID-19 cases, mass vaccine plan coming Friday

15 more deaths, community cluster declared in Williams Lake

Prince Edward Island’s provincial flag flies on a flag pole in Ottawa, Friday July 3, 2020. A lozenge plant in Prince Edward Island has laid off 30 workers, citing an “almost non-existent” cold and cough season amid COVID-19 restrictions. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
‘Almost non-existent’ cold and cough season: P.E.I. lozenge plant lays off 30 workers

The apparent drop in winter colds across the country seems to have weakened demand for medicine and natural remedies

Robert Riley Saunders. (File)
Disgraced Kelowna social worker faces another class-action lawsuit

Zackary Alphonse claims he was not informed of resources available to him upon leaving government care

A specialized RCMP team is investigating a suspicious trailer, which might have connections to the illicit drug trade, found abandoned outside a Cache Creek motel. (Photo credit: <em>Journal</em> files)
Police probe U-Haul trailer linked to illicit drugs left outside Cache Creek motel

Hazardous materials found inside believed to be consistent with the production of illicit drugs

Premier John Horgan leaves the podium following his first press conference of the year as he comments on various questions from the media in the Press Gallery at B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, January 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interprovincial travel restrictions a no-go, Horgan says after reviewing legal options

The B.C. NDP government sought legal advice as concerns of travel continue

Gem Lake Top, at Big White Ski Resort, seen at Jan. 8. (Big White Ski Resort)
Big White cancels $7.3M in lift tickets, accommodations due to COVID-19 orders

Since November, the ski resort has been forced to make several changes

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Darlene Curylo scratched a $3M ticket, BCLC’s largest ever scratch and win prize. (BCLC)
Kelowna woman in shock after winning BCLC’s largest-ever instant-ticket prize

Darlene Curylo couldn’t believe her eyes when she saw the amount of money she’d won from a scratch ticket

While each person has different reasons for becoming homeless, a UBCO study shows they learn through their interactions with different services to perform ‘as homeless’ based on the expectations of service providers. (Contributed)
Kelowna homeless forced to ‘perform’ for resources, says UBCO study

One participant in the study said ‘It is about looking homeless, but not too homeless’

Most Read