BC Mines Minister Bill Bennett says changes to the provincial mining code will set standards to ensure that a disaster like the Mount Polley tailings pond collapse never happens again.
The August, 2014 breach at the massive tailings pond near Likely sent 24 million cubic meters of waste and water into nearby rivers and lakes.
Changes to the code will include design standards for tailings storage facilities tailored to conditions within the province and emphasize public and worker protection.
An independent review of the disaster confirmed that the tailings dam collapsed because the strength and location of clay underneath the dam was not taken into account during its original design.
Chief Inspector of Mines Al Hoffman was asked if the changes would’ve prevented the Mount Polley disaster from happening.
The province says the new code includes world-leading standards that involve tailings facility site locations based on geological, hydrogeological, and seismic characteristics.
The Mount Polley gold and copper mine, owned by Imperial Metals, was cleared to resume full operations last month.
(with files from CP)