North

Owners of B.C.'s Tulsequah Chief mine told to clean up site

A recent environmental inspection of the idle Tulsequah Chief mine in Northwestern B.C. found it was not in compliance with provincial permits. The mine has been in care and maintenance mode since June 2012.

'There's a lot of stuff at the site that just isn't happening': Rivers Without Borders spokesperson

The Tulsequah Chief mine site, approximately 100 kilometers south of Atlin, B.C., has been in care maintenance mode since 2012. (Government of B.C. )

The B.C. government is telling the owner of the idle Tulsequah Chief mine near Atlin to clean up the site.

An environmental inspection of the base metal mine done last month found it was not in compliance with provincial permits. The owner, Chieftain Metals Inc., has had the mine in care and maintenance mode since June 2012.

The mine inspector's report highlighted concerns about acidic discharge into the Tulsequah River. There are no tailings facilities at the mine site.

Chris Zimmer, with the group Rivers Without Borders, said the assessment shows the site is worse than he thought. 

"There are a number of facilities, including the waste holding ponds, that weren't constructed right and were never constructed according to plan. Monitoring of the pollution isn't happening," Zimmer said. "There's a lot of stuff at the site that just isn't happening.

"Not only do we have this continuing acid mine drainage problem, which has been leaking right into the Tulsequah [River], the water treatment plant there has been closed down for a couple of years."

Zimmer said he worries Chieftain Metals will say it doesn't have the money to deal with the problems. He'd like to see the mine shut down for good.

The company has three months to respond to the B.C. government's inspection report. 

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