Research predicts 2 dam failures every 10 years
A new report from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives is warning that B.C. could see more disasters like the Mount Polley dam collapse if regulations around mining remain unchanged.
According to the report, co-published by the Corporate Mapping Project, the Wilderness Committee and Brazil-based PoEMAS, there could be as many as two dam failures every 10 years.
On Aug. 4, 2014, the Mount Polley mine’s tailings dam broke, sending 24 million cubic metres of mining waste into nearby lakes and rivers.
Two reports, by B.C.’s chief inspector of mines and an independent panel of engineering experts, found the collapse was caused by a poorly designed dam that didn’t account for drainage and erosion failures.
The report also drew comparisons to a deadly mining event that occurred at the Mariana mine in Brazil one year later, which killed 19 people, left hundreds homeless, and contaminated the Rio Doce river system.