Satellite photo shows impact of Mount Polley breach

The environmental impact due to the Mount Polley Mine tailing breach is highlighted in red by the geomatics firm Effigis.

The tailings pond dam at the Mount Polley Mine site was breached on BC Day, Aug. 4. An estimated 10 million cubic metres of water and 4.5 million cubic metres of fine sand was released. Hazeltine Creek flows out of Polley Lake and the flow of contaminated water continued into Quesnel Lake.

Environment BC says that during the initial breach of the tailings dam the bulk of the original flow created an unstable plug at the base of Polley Lake. The balance of the tailings and water went down Hazeltine Creek and deposited at the confluence of the creek and river. Hazeltine Creek was originally about 1.2 metres wide and is now up to 150 metres wide.

The image was taken by a Landsat-8 satellite on August 5, 2014, a day after the accident.

Image by Effigis.

Hat tip, Vancouver Miner