The Yukon government raised red flags about a copper mine’s environmental infractions days before the owner abandoned the site last month, an inspection report shows.
The new report filed this month by two employees of the territory’s Department of Energy, Mines and Resources says they inspected Minto Metals Corp.’s mining site on April 26, finding that its storage capacity for contaminated water in an open pit and tailings waste management were unsatisfactory.
New infrastructure was already being installed on the day of the inspection to double the capacity of water treatment. Minto informed the Yukon government on May 12 that it had abruptly ceased operations and abandoned the mine, effectively handing control over to the territory. On May 14, Minto moved the remaining workers off the site, located about 240 kilometres northwest of Whitehorse.
The surprise shutdown of the copper mine, which began production in 2007, put more than 180 Minto employees and subcontractors out of work.
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