Mount Poly tailing pond breaches............................


Nuggler
#1
Mount Polley mine tailings pond breach called environmental disaster - British Columbia - CBC News


One of those "won't ever happen things", that happened.
 
taxslave
+1
#2
Currently we must assume the pondwas built to government standards. We need toknow just why it breached. If it was shoddy construction fine the owners right into bankruptcy and sell the mine to someone that will run it properly. If it was deliberate punish those responsible.
 
Nuggler
#3
All that crud going into Lake Quesnel. Hard to put a value on that.
We better get used to stuff like this happening.
 
captain morgan
+2
#4
Been going on for as long as man has mined for metal... Hell, there are all kinds of legacy gold mines throughout the Shield that just dumped their milled tailings in heaps on the forest floor or in the creeks
 
SLM
#5
Quote: Originally Posted by NugglerView Post

All that crud going into Lake Quesnel. Hard to put a value on that.
We better get used to stuff like this happening.

Why? Legitimate investigations and stiff deterrent level penalties can be effective.

Quote: Originally Posted by captain morganView Post

Been going on for as long as man has mined for metal... Hell, there are all kinds of legacy gold mines throughout the Shield that just dumped their milled tailings in heaps on the forest floor or in the creeks

Just because it was done before is no excuse to allow it to continue.

People have been murdered in the past as well, should we just throw up our hands and say "oh well" that's just the way it is whenever someone is killed? Of course not. At least with this type of scenario (whether it was shoddy construction or inadequate standards) we stand a hope in hell of eliminating it.
 
captain morgan
#6
Quote: Originally Posted by SLMView Post

Just because it was done before is no excuse to allow it to continue.

That was not the message.

Surely they will tighten the rules and increase the regulatory framework until the next breech occurs.

On that note, back in the day, that was the accepted practice founded on the height of science and knowledge... Now we know better.. Until next time.



Quote: Originally Posted by SLMView Post

People have been murdered in the past as well, should we just throw up our hands and say "oh well" that's just the way it is whenever someone is killed?

We pretty much have thrown up our hands
 
grumpydigger
+1
#7
Government allows self-regulation and inspection , and companies will deny problems until a massive disasters happens in order to protect their shareholders financial holdings.

In order for a massive breach like this to happen , the structural integrity of the tailings pond must've been in question for quite a long time.

And kept hidden.
 
captain morgan
#8
Quote: Originally Posted by grumpydiggerView Post

Government allows self-regulation and inspection , and companies will deny problems until a massive disasters happens in order to protect their shareholders financial holdings.

It is in the best interests of any company to keep that kind of infrastructure in top condition... The cost of maintenance and upkeep is far lower than the costs associated with down time, fines, repair/construction, etc... The enviro costs alone will easily eclipse the development of a secure pond.

The company(s) know this and work towards mitigating those liabilities for the above reasons

Quote: Originally Posted by grumpydiggerView Post

In order for a massive breach like this to happen , the structural integrity of the tailings pond must've been in question for quite a long time.

And kept hidden.

You don't know this... That is sheer speculation
 
SLM
+1
#9
Quote: Originally Posted by captain morganView Post

That was not the message.

Surely they will tighten the rules and increase the regulatory framework until the next breech occurs.



On that note, back in the day, that was the accepted practice founded on the height of science and knowledge... Now we know better.. Until next time.

The way I look at it, it's the industries themselves that need to take the lead on safety matters. And the only avenue available to really enforce compliance towards that goal is stiff, and I mean extremely stiff, penalties.

I'm not claiming to have an understanding of the specific industry, nor of the will within the industry to prevent such things from happening. Nor do I mean to imply that no such will exists. But I do understand cost/benefit analysis. And I also know that if the option is there to cut some corners then there will always be those that cut them. If you make the cost of cutting corners excessive enough then that effectively cancels out the option of doing so. The reason people cut corners to save resources, money.

To me increasing regulation just adds more compliance hoops, it increases operations costs (always). Regulation should be as simple as possible but very well defined. Standards are X, and the cost of not meeting those standards results in Y. If Y is excessive enough, they'll make damn sure they meet a solid X, if not better, when performing tasks and operations that can have a huge impact on the surrounding area.

Is that too simplistic? Am I being naive?
 
petros
#10
Quote: Originally Posted by grumpydiggerView Post

Government allows self-regulation and inspection , and companies will deny problems until a massive disasters happens in order to protect their shareholders financial holdings.

In order for a massive breach like this to happen , the structural integrity of the tailings pond must've been in question for quite a long time.

And kept hidden.

No they don't.

Quote:

Local residents are calling it an environmental disaster.

In a day or too everything will settle.
 
grumpydigger
#11
I will guarantee you that a properly inspected tailings pond does not breach and caused a mass environmental accident.

You say I'm just speculating I have no proof.

Tell that to the thousands of people that are going to be affected by this.

When they pulled the government records on this pond. You'll be surprised the last time anyone but a company employee has took a look at it.
 
petros
#12
Affected in what way? Bottled water for a couple days?
 
Zipperfish
#13
Quote: Originally Posted by SLMView Post

The way I look at it, it's the industries themselves that need to take the lead on safety matters. And the only avenue available to really enforce compliance towards that goal is stiff, and I mean extremely stiff, penalties.

I'm not claiming to have an understanding of the specific industry, nor of the will within the industry to prevent such things from happening. Nor do I mean to imply that no such will exists. But I do understand cost/benefit analysis. And I also know that if the option is there to cut some corners then there will always be those that cut them. If you make the cost of cutting corners excessive enough then that effectively cancels out the option of doing so. The reason people cut corners to save resources, money.

To me increasing regulation just adds more compliance hoops, it increases operations costs (always). Regulation should be as simple as possible but very well defined. Standards are X, and the cost of not meeting those standards results in Y. If Y is excessive enough, they'll make damn sure they meet a solid X, if not better, when performing tasks and operations that can have a huge impact on the surrounding area.

Is that too simplistic? Am I being naive?

Mines are pretty highly regulated. The thing with mines is that they are such big projects that they chnage the landscape on a geological teimscale. So we have a big problem with abandoned mines that will continue to pollute for potentially throusands of years. There are still existing acid rock drainage issues from old Roman mines.

There is a problem when the company just walks away. The two biggest contaminiated sites in Canada (Giant Mine, NWT and Faro mine, Yukon) are due to owners simply declaring bankruptcy and walking away. Taxpayers are the hook for about $2 billion for those two sites. That's not to clean them up; that's just to contain the damage.

A catastropic failure of a tailings pond in North America pretty rare. I'm interested to find out what happened. Looks like it was a sudden breach.
 
petros
#14
It was just a settling pond. Rock flour. The water is safe as it is continually discharged into the river.Turbidity is probably the only drinking water issue.
 
Zipperfish
#15
Quote: Originally Posted by petrosView Post

It was just a settling pond. Rock flour. The water is safe as it is continually discharged into the river.Turbidity is probably the only drinking water issue.

It's reported as the tailings pond. The supernatant is discharged, but the problem will be the the fines and the sludge, which will likely be high in metals.
 
lone wolf
#16
It's not really live operations you have to worry about. There are thousands of abandoned mines and semi-known tailing ponds out there
 
petros
#17
Quote: Originally Posted by ZipperfishView Post

It's reported as the tailings pond. The supernatant is discharged, but the problem will be the the fines and the sludge, which will likely be high in metals.

deja vu
 
taxslave
#18
The biggest problem short term is turbidity. Fishes gills will plug and fish will die for a few days. Imperial Metals share price will go the way of the tailings.
 
Tonington
#19
Quote: Originally Posted by grumpydiggerView Post

Government allows self-regulation and inspection , and companies will deny problems until a massive disasters happens in order to protect their shareholders financial holdings.

In order for a massive breach like this to happen , the structural integrity of the tailings pond must've been in question for quite a long time.

And kept hidden.

Mount Polley mine tailings pond breach followed years of government warnings - British Columbia - CBC News

Red flags raised years before B.C. mine-tailings spill, consultant says - The Globe and Mail

Someone may owe you a beer.

Crappy news, and in a year with a huge expected return of Fraser sockeye. Hopefully the effects won't be long-lasting.
 
Zipperfish
#20
Hopefully not. We'll have to see what the geochem of the fines are like. If they aren't acid generating, it would significantly reduce risk. The acid is a problem in and of itself, but it transforms the metals into a dissolved phase making them generally more bioavailable.
 
Tonington
#21
It's not just the acute toxic effects that are concerning though. Returning spawners will actually turn around and head back downstream when faced with sub-lethal levels of toxic metals. Atlantic salmon in the Miramichi were shown to avoid water when the concentration of copper and zinc from a mine discharge was just 35% of the LD50 concentration. Less than half would reverse and swim back upstream to the best spawning areas after that event. That means they are choosing to spawn in areas less than ideal, which means lowered survival for the next generation. This year's sockeye run is of the 2010 generation, which came from the largest returning generation of sockeye in over 100 years, so it's important that this cycle doesn't get knocked down.

A second consideration is the amount of solids that will settle. If the fish are returning downstream to less than ideal conditions, and some of this heavier material settles in the lower flows downstream, then that is even further pressure on the hatching fry. It will also mean lowered dissolved oxygen in the substrate where the fry seek refuge. By that time the pulse of high pH water will have moved past, and the river will have become more acidic. Fry, also are less hardy than the adults, so the lethal concentrations, and those that begin to cause congenital defects, is much lower.

Not a good fate for fish when stuff like this happens. It's way too early to tell though. Like I said, hope for the best!
 
petros
#22
Oi ya yoi.
 
tay
#23
State of affairs at the links...........






Local 'State of Emergency' declared after breach sent '10 million cubic metres of water and 4.5 million cubic metres of metals-laden sand out into local waterways, an effluence described by the company as 'very close to drinking water (external - login to view)', which may come as a surprise to many .. The tailings pond failure now threatens sockeye salmon ... Joe Alphonse of the Tsihqot'in Tribal Council (external - login to view) says "this is devastation .. This year we are expecting over 2 1/2 million salmon to return with this run just entering the Fraser River. This is the worst situation at the worst time possible. The company will be held accountable" .. Imperial Metals Corporation (external - login to view) lost approx $1/2 billion in shareholder equity after the disaster became public, yet the full extent of financial loss to the company will not likely be known for quite some time .. The law firm Sutts Strosberg (external - login to view), for instance, says it 'is investigating the circumstances surrounding the company's Aug 4 announcement that its Mount Polley tailings pond was breached'. It is a law firm that reps investors in securities class actions. Developing .. Meanwhile, see some location aerial shots here ..



http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/...ticle19937546/




Spill damage likely permanent: researcher | Vancouver 24 hrs (external - login to view)
 
taxslave
+3
#24  Top Rated Post
Depending on your definition of damage. Yes there will be permanent changes and temporary damage but it is highly unlikely there will be permenant damage. What needs to be done right now is devise a way to get spawning salmon above the breach to minimize the loss for the next crop. By next spawning season the fish will be able to go it alone.
 
petros
+1
#25
Quote: Originally Posted by taxslaveView Post

Depending on your definition of damage. Yes there will be permanent changes and temporary damage but it is highly unlikely there will be permenant damage. What needs to be done right now is devise a way to get spawning salmon above the breach to minimize the loss for the next crop. By next spawning season the fish will be able to go it alone.

Fish will be fine. They know their way home now. Remember how global warming was getting them lost?

Study confirms link between salmon migration and magnetic field | News & Research Communications | Oregon State University (external - login to view)
 
taxslave
+1
#26
Quote: Originally Posted by petrosView Post

Fish will be fine. They know their way home now. Remember how global warming was getting them lost?

Study confirms link between salmon migration and magnetic field | News & Research Communications | Oregon State University (external - login to view)

They won't get lost but if there is too much turbidity they may not go all the way up and instead turn back and spawn in lower waters which with the expected record run will mean congestion andexcessive egg loss.
 
petros
#27
Quote: Originally Posted by taxslaveView Post

They won't get lost but if there is too much turbidity they may not go all the way up and instead turn back and spawn in lower waters which with the expected record run will mean congestion andexcessive egg loss.

The same way a natural mudslide would. At least the record run won't be stuck at sea wondering where the river in their GPS went.

180km shift in their 4 year lives.

I wonder what that does to climate?
 
Locutus
#28
Jon Woodward ‏@ctv_jon (external - login to view)



Mount Polley mine tests "below aquatic life guidelines for all sites...impact to aquatic life and fish not expected."

http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/eemp/incide...s_20140807.pdf
 
petros
#29
Quote: Originally Posted by petrosView Post


In a day or too everything will settle.

Drink up!
 
Cliffy
#30
The Salish tribes in the area are saying that the salmon down stream are in big trouble. Their skin is peeling off and they have placed a ban on all fishing in the affected areas. This could affect the entire Fraser fishery for years to come.

Quote: Originally Posted by petrosView Post

Drink up!

You go there and drink the water if you are so cock sure.
 
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