Mount Polley in Clayoquot Sound?On August 4th the retaining wall for the tailings pond at the Mount Polley open pit copper mine failed.
There has been a lot of speculation about what “caused” the damn to fail and why the largest toxic breach in Canadian history happened.
For us here in Clayoquot Sound it is clear that any one of the potential causes, - faulty engineering, lack of government oversight, corporations cutting corners, or even (as was initially suggested) human error - could cause a tailings breach and irrevocable damage in any ecosystem surrounding a mining operation.
Imperial Metals, the company that owns and operates Mount Polley also owns two claims here in Clayoquot Sound, a copper deposit in Catface Mountain and the Fandora gold deposit in Tranquil Valley. Friends of Clayoquot Sound (FOCS) oppose developing these deposits and the Mount Polley disaster has served as a dramatic reminder of how important our work is.
FOCS has been working alongside the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation to get a mining ban on Tla-o-qui-aht traditional territory and prevent the risk of a Mount Polley-style event happening here. FOCS campaigner Emery Hartley and Tla-o-qui-aht councilor Terry Dorward were recently interviewed about their position on mining in Clayoquot Sound; you can hear that interview at this link (the segment starts at 14:48).
Please consider making a contribution to help our campaign for a mining ban on Tla-o-qui-aht territories.