Vancouver – June 23, 2016 | Imperial Metals Corporation (“Imperial” or “Company”) (III-TSX) reports that the Ministry of Energy and Mines and the Ministry of Environment have issued the necessary authorizations to allow Mount Polley Mine (“Mount Polley”) to return to normal operations making use of its repaired and buttressed Tailings Storage Facility (“TSF”).
Over the past two years the management and staff at Mount Polley have worked tirelessly in close cooperation with regulatory agencies, First Nations and members of the local communities, to repair and buttress the TSF following the Best Applicable Practices identified in the Independent Expert Engineering Investigation and Review Panel (“Panel”) report.
A number of important conditions and milestones were met by Mount Polley as it worked toward receipt of the regulatory authorizations required to return to normal operations. Thorough investigations by the Panel, the Ministry of Energy and Mines, and a team from Golder Associates Ltd. (the Engineer of Record retained by Mount Polley) all concurred on the failure mechanism that led to the breach of the Perimeter Embankment in August of 2014. The updated design of the embankment in this specific area reflects the results of these investigations. Furthermore, all the existing TSF embankments were investigated, and foundation conditions throughout were comprehensively characterized. These investigations led to modification of the embankments to assure that the stability of the structure meets or exceeds all applicable legislative requirements and guidelines. It should be noted that use of the existing facility was recommended as a result of an assessment of alternative sites and technologies.
The design and operating philosophy of the TSF follows the Best Applicable Practices guidelines identified in the Panel report. To ensure the TSF is operated in accordance with Best Applicable Practices on an ongoing basis, Mount Polley appointed an Independent Engineering Review Panel in January 2015 to provide ongoing review.
Since the breach of the Perimeter Embankment, Mount Polley has completed significant rehabilitation of the areas that were impacted by the breach, and will continue necessary rehabilitation and monitoring of those areas.
Research and monitoring to date indicates the environment is recovering rapidly. No long lasting impacts are anticipated at this time.
Brian Kynoch, President said “A return to normal operations is important to the region as Mount Polley is a significant contributor to the economy, directly providing approximately 350 jobs, as well as supporting the local communities of Likely, Williams Lake and the surrounding region. Mount Polley is committed to working with First Nations and local communities to complete rehabilitation of the areas impacted by the breach and we thank all those involved in the rehabilitation for the excellent work that has been completed to date”.
Imperial is an exploration, mine development and operating company based in Vancouver, British Columbia. The Company, through its subsidiaries, owns the Red Chris and Mount Polley copper|gold mines in British Columbia, and the Sterling gold mine in Nevada. Imperial also holds a 50% interest in Huckleberry Mines Ltd. and in the Ruddock Creek lead|zinc property, both in British Columbia.
Imperial Contact Information
Brian Kynoch | President | 604.669.8959
Andre Deepwell | Chief Financial Officer | 604.488.2666
Gordon Keevil | Vice President Corporate Development | 604.488.2677
Sabine Goetz | Shareholder Communications | 604.488.2657 | [email protected]