Update on tailings pond

By Contributor
July 5th, 2012

The Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK) Emergency Operations Centre is working with various agencies to ensure public safety for travelers and area residents in response to concerns about sloughing and seepage from a tailings pond.

The tailings pond has been impacted by heavy rainfall yesterday and ongoing creek/stream inflows. Some sloughing of the earthen dam was observed yesterday and there is ongoing seepage from sections of it. The tailings pond is located east of Highway 3 and 6, and south of Emerald Road, near Salmo driving south towards the Kootenay Pass summit.

The Regional District purchased the former HB Mine property as part of its central landfill area in 1998.

Residents who could be affected by a structural failure impacting the highway and properties below the site have been notified by the RCMP. Currently flaggers are positioned on the highway as a precautionary measure.

Geotechnical engineers have installed three pumps to decrease the level in the tailings pond as a first step. Additional larger diameter pumps and siphoning hoses are en route to continue to reduce water levels. An outlet channel is also being deepened. Several excavators are on site and will work at in-filling areas of seepage when they are able to be deployed safely.

Environmental monitoring and reporting is ongoing and 24 hour security has been implemented at the site. The weather forecast is favorable – with little or no precipitation forecast – and geo-technicians and engineers on site indicate the area is gradually getting drier. This should permit additional remediation planning and on-site work to proceed over the next few days. 

Categories: General


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