Imperial Metals Corp. says it is suspending operations at its Mount Polley mine in south-central British Columbia due to declining copper prices.
The gold and copper mine was the site of a 2014 tailings dam collapse that was one of the largest environmental disasters in the province’s history. Imperial Metals said in a news release Monday that the suspension plan includes milling of low grade stockpiles which is expected to extend operations to the end of May 2019.
There will be no impact to the mine’s ongoing environmental monitoring and remediation program, it said. “Full operations will resume once the economics of mining at Mount Polley improve,” it said.The company did not immediately respond to a request for more details, including how many jobs would be affected by the suspension of operations at the mine northeast of Williams Lake, B.C.
The union representing Mount Polley workers, United Steelworkers Local 1-2017, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Imperial Metals said in August that unionized workers at Mount Polley had voted in favour of a new three-year contract, after initiating strike action in May following a lockout by the company.