Archive | British Columbia Mining

Canada mine waste prompts calls for better water protection (Associated Press – July 22, 2019)

KALISPELL, Mont. — Towns, tribes and politicians in U.S. states bordering British Columbia are seeking better oversight and stricter regulations to protect them from hazardous pollution that flow downstream from coal mines in the Canadian province.

Leaders in Libby, Troy and Eureka, towns along the Kootenai River, wrote in separate letters to Montana Gov. Steve Bullock saying their livelihoods depend on the region’s rivers and lakes. But those waterways that support diverse wildlife and recreational interests are being compromised by contaminants from British Columbia coal mines, they said.

They and tribal leaders in Montana and Idaho want state and federal officials to fund better long-term water quality monitoring and to adopt a strict water quality standard for selenium. Continue Reading →

B.C. mining touted as green solution even as environmental groups warn of lax industry regulations – by Ainslie Cruickshank (Toronto Star – July 17, 2019)

VANCOUVER—A B.C. environmental organization says lax mining regulation is putting B.C. waterways at risk, even as resource ministers on Wednesday touted Canada as a top source for the metals and minerals the world needs to transition to a green economy.

“Our big concern is how much of B.C.’s competitive advantage, as they call it, is actually just weak environmental regulations,” said Lars Sander-Green, a science and communications analyst with Wildsight.

Sander-Green’s comments came as the annual conference of ministers responsible for energy and mines wrapped up. This year’s conference was held in Cranbrook, B.C. Continue Reading →

Federal and tribal coalitions challenge Canadian mining – by Liz Weber (High Country News – July 8, 2019)

‘It’s about British Columbia being a really bad actor as an upstream neighbor that pollutes our water.’

The headwaters of the Stikine River begin in northern British Columbia and flow southwest in a long arching comma. The river carves through the landscape, unconcerned with international or tribal boundaries before crossing into the United States where it empties into the Eastern Passage near Wrangell, Alaska.

Yet the Stikine River is among America’s most endangered rivers, threatened by British Columbia’s upstream mining practices, according to American Rivers, a river basin advocacy group.

The river’s problems represent the decades-long struggle to put international regulations on the contaminants flowing downstream from B.C.’s open-pit hard rock and coal mines. Now, two separate coalitions of U.S. senators and tribal leaders are joining forces to once again demand action. Continue Reading →

Five-year anniversary looms with no charges in catastrophic Mount Polley dam collapse – by Gordon Hoekstra (Vancouver Sun – July 7, 2019)

Environmentalists and Mount Polley mine-area residents are anxiously waiting as one deadline approaches for federal agencies to lay charges over the 2014 collapse of the B.C. Interior mine’s tailings dam.

After a 4-1/2-year investigation, a team comprised of officials with Environment Canada and Fisheries and Oceans Canada, along with the B.C. Conservation Officer Service, delivered a charge package to federal prosecutors this spring.

It is now up to the Public Prosecution Service of Canada to determine if charges will be laid. Under federal law, there is a five-year window that ends Aug. 4 to lay charges in a summary conviction under the Fisheries Act, where a large corporation faces fines up to $8 million. Continue Reading →

Taseko Mines seeking court injunction after First Nation members block work at Fish Lake – by Andrea Woo (Globe and Mail – July 4, 2019)

A B.C. mining company is seeking a court injunction after its crew was blocked from beginning work this week on a controversial open-pit mine near Fish Lake, also known as Teztan Biny.

Brian Battison, vice-president of corporate affairs for Taseko Mines Ltd., said the company has no other choice but to pursue the authoritative option after members of the Tsilhqot’in Nation blockaded access to the site on Tuesday. “What else can you do but rely on the law?” Mr. Battison said Wednesday.

The roadblock was set up roughly 80 kilometres from the site of the proposed New Prosperity copper and gold mine project, southwest of Williams Lake. When Taseko crews arrived on Tuesday, members of the Tsilhqot’in Nation told them they did not have access to the site. Continue Reading →

First Nation expects reprieve will be brief after blocking mining company from its territorial lands to protect sacred B.C. lake – by Jesse Winter and Wanyee Li (Toronto Star – July 3, 2019)

TL’ESQOX FIRST NATION—It was just after 6:30 a.m. and Cecil Grinder hadn’t slept. Standing next to a smouldering fire, he watched the trucks approaching from the east.

“I tried to get a few hours sleep, but I just couldn’t,” the Tl’etinqox First Nation councillor said, explaining that he was too nervous. Seventeen-year-old Syles Laceese joined him on the tarmac.

At the junction with Farwell Canyon Road, about 40 minutes outside of Williams Lake, B.C., a white pickup and a tractor-trailer towing a bulldozer slowed to a stop at Grinder’s command amid the rolling hills and cattle ranches of Tsilhqot’in traditional territory. Continue Reading →

British Columbia: Tsilhqot’in Nation plans peaceful action to protect two sacred lakes from mining – by Brenna Owen (CBC News/Canadian Press – July 2, 2019)

The Taseko Mines project west of Williams Lake was approved by the province in 2010

A First Nation in British Columbia’s western Interior says its members intend to peacefully take action to protect two lakes with cultural and spiritual significance from drilling by a mining company.

According to a release from the Tsilhqot’in Nation in Williams Lake, Taseko Mines Ltd. sent a notice on June 27 indicating it would begin using heavy equipment such as logging and road-clearing equipment starting Tuesday.

The company says the drilling and related activities are an attempt to prove the lakes will not be harmed by its so-called New Prosperity Project, a proposed open-pit copper and gold mine west of Williams Lake. Continue Reading →

With deadline looming, charges recommended in Mount Polley mines disaster – by Justine Hunter (Globe and Mail – June 28, 2019)

A years-long investigation by multiple agencies into the largest mine-waste disaster in Canadian history has led to a recommendation for charges under the federal Fisheries Act.

With the five-year deadline for charges just weeks away, The Globe and Mail has learned joint task force on the 2014 tailings-pond breach at the Mount Polley mine in central British Columbia sent its recommendations to the Public Prosecution Service of Canada in early April. It is now up to the Crown to decide whether to approve the charges.

“The investigation of the Mount Polley pollution incident has been lengthy and complex. As the matter is now under charge assessment, there will be no further comment at this time,” Veronica Petro, a spokesperson for Environment Canada, said in a statement. Continue Reading →

British Columbia: Canadian mining company liable for pollution flowing from Kootenays to U.S. – by Bob Keating (CBC News British Columbia – June 18, 2019)

Top U.S. court denies Teck’s appeal; miner now on the hook for legal costs, cleanup

Vancouver-based mining giant Teck has run out of appeals after polluting the Columbia River and Lake Roosevelt in Washington State for decades from its huge lead-zinc smelter in Trail, B.C.

The U.S. Supreme Court will not hear Teck’s appeal of the case brought by the Colville Confederated Tribes (CCT) in Washington State. The CCT successfully argued Teck used the Columbia River in southeastern B.C. as a “convenient disposal facility for its wastes.”

“This is a battle that the Colville Tribes has been fighting for at least 20 years,” said CCT Chairman Rodney Cawston. The Supreme Court’s decision to not hear Teck’s appeal leaves a previous ruling in place, awarding over $8 million in legal costs to the tribes. It also makes Teck responsible for cleaning up the damage from decades of pollution. Continue Reading →

British Columbia: Supreme Court rejects Tsilhqot’in appeal in Taseko mine case (Canadian Press/CBC News British Columbia – June 14, 2019)

The Tsilhqot’in Nation calls mine exploration a violation of human rights

The Tsilhqot’in Nation says it will continue to protect what it considers a sacred lake in the central Interior despite a blow from Canada’s top court.

The Supreme Court has refused to hear an appeal of a B.C .court ruling allowing Taseko Mine Limited (TML) to proceed with exploratory drilling around Fish Lake — also known as Teztan Biny.

The permit allows TML to proceed with an extensive drilling project that authorizes 76 kilometres of new or modified road and trail to be cleared, along with 122 drill holes, 367 excavated test pits and 20 kilometres of seismic lines near Teztan Biny. Continue Reading →

U.S. senators to Horgan: clean up B.C.’s mining mess – by Sarah Cox (The Narwhal – June 13, 2019)

The Narwhal

Eight American senators have written to B.C. Premier John Horgan urging him to address downstream contamination from the province’s metal and coal mines.

The letter — an unprecedented joint undertaking from all senators from the four states bordering the province, including both Republicans and Democrats — outlines concerns about potential environmental and economic impacts from B.C. mines that pollute rivers flowing into the U.S.

“As you know, Alaska, Washington, Idaho and Montana have tremendous natural resources that need to be protected against impacts from B.C. hard rock and coal-mining activities near the headwaters of shared rivers, many of which support environmentally and economically significant salmon populations,” the senators wrote in the two-page letter, released Thursday. Continue Reading →

Mining proposal for Skagit River headwaters in B.C. sparks outcry from congressional Dems, Gov. Inslee – by Evan Bush (Seattle Times – May 22, 2019)

Nine members of Washington state’s congressional delegation, all Democrats, called Wednesday for the U.S. Department of State to intervene in a simmering dispute with Canada over a company’s proposal for exploratory mining in the headwaters of the Skagit River.

“The potential for releases of copper and other heavy metals would pollute waters downstream,” the congressional leaders wrote to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, declaring their opposition to the project.

The letter outlines concerns over potential harms to Washington’s tourism and recreation economy, public health and vulnerable fish populations, among others. Continue Reading →

Even Trudeau’s Canada Won’t Rid Itself of Coal – by Josh Wingrove (Bloomberg News – May 10, 2019)

(Bloomberg) — Scientists agree coal is choking the planet—so why is it so hard for governments to ditch? This is the last in a three-part series. Read parts one and two.

Set against lush hills, deep inlets and snow-kissed mountain peaks, Vancouver is the wellspring of Canadian environmentalism—and the heart of its climate dilemma.

British Columbia’s premier city prides itself on its green bona fides. The province is the birthplace of Greenpeace, ushered in Canada’s most successful carbon tax and is governed by a coalition that includes Green Party lawmakers. It’s also the one-time home to a young Justin Trudeau. Continue Reading →

Mining industry leader to tackle regulatory issues, sector stability – by Tyler Nyquvest (Business Vancouver – May 8, 2019)

Communications expert Michael Goehring takes helm at Mining Association of BC

On his second day in office, Michael Goehring, newly appointed president and CEO of the Mining Association of British Columbia (MABC), was caught in a flurry of requests from multiple parties anxious for his attention.

After a brief vacation in Las Vegas, Goehring started his role on May 1, directly following two decades in his previous position as partner at National Public Relations, Canada’s largest communications firm. Goehring has more than 20 years of experience in public affairs and strategic communications in the mining, energy, forestry, utilities, technology and trade industries.

n between a packed second day schedule, Goehring spoke with Business in Vancouver about the current state of Canada’s mining industry, what looms ahead for the volatile sector and how he hopes to contribute in his new role. Continue Reading →

Cariboo gold rush, Part 2? – by Nelson Bennett (Business Vancouver – May 7, 2019)

Barkerville Gold’s Cow Mountain in British Columbia’s fabled Cariboo region is shaping up to be the province’s next new gold mine

For about a century, starting in the 1860s, the most prolific gold mining region of B.C. was the Cariboo. The town of Barkerville, which sprung up in the Cariboo gold rush, was once a bustling town of 5,000.

But by the 1950s, gold mining had pretty much dried up in the area, and the town of Barkerville was saved from becoming yet another B.C. mining ghost town only when it was turned into a living museum.

But gold mining in the Cariboo now appears to be set for a sequel with the development of what has promise of becoming a significant gold mining district by Barkerville Gold Mines (TSX-V:BGM) and Osisko Mining Inc. (TSX:OSK). Continue Reading →