The province has issued a conditional permit allowing the Mount Polley mine to reopen following a massive tailings pond spill last August.
Mines Minister Bill Bennett says the permit is the first of three steps the mine must meet before being authorized to return to full operation.
He says Mount Polley Mine Corporation will need a second conditional permit in the fall to treat and discharge water, and it must submit a long-term water treatment and discharge plan to the government by next June.
The mine will use a former open mine site for tailings, it’s estimated that pit will be filled by autumn.
Bennett believes the company will use the former tailings facilities, once it has been remediated and brought up to standards, but no formal application has been made yet.
But he says there are still two on-going investigations and depending on their findings, future requirements may change.
He also says it’s better to let the mine operate for several months, and allow workers to earn wages, considering how important the mine is to the local economy.
The company estimates it will take about a month before it can start production, with up to 220 workers on site.