Mount Polley mine on track for restart

Beleaguered Imperial Metals (TSX:III), whose Mount Polley mine in central British Columbia breached a tailings pond last summer, has submitted a plan to restart the copper and gold mine.

Local media outlet the Williams Lake Tribune reported last Thursday that the company has submitted the restart plan to the provincial government, which along with Imperial Metals has faced criticism over the breach that sent millions of cubic metres of water and tailings into local creeks and nearby Quesnel Lake.

The mine has been closed since the incident occurred in early August.

“It would be for a restricted operational permit which would allow for us to start up the mill and process ore at about half rate,” Steve Robertson, Imperial's vice president of corporate affairs, told the Tribune.

That means a throughput of 12,000 tonnes per day through the mill, from about 50,000 tonnes of material from the mine and another 1,000 tonnes of high-grade ore mined underground.

Robertson told the publication they are asking permission to deposit a maximum 4 million tonnes of tailings into the Springer Pit, so as not to include the use of the tailings storage facility to impound tailings from the operation.

If approved, the mine would be allowed to operate through most of 2015.