Imperial announces suspension of operations at Mount Polley Mine

by Keith Powell
Picture of large mining truck.

Due to declining copper prices, Imperial Metals Corporation has made the decision to suspend operations at the Mount Polley Mine. — Photo courtesy Imperial Metals

Imperial Metals Corporation is reporting that due to declining copper prices, operations at the Mount Polley mine will be suspended. The suspension plan includes milling of low grade stockpiles which is targeted to extend operations to the end of May 2019. There will be no impact to the mine’s ongoing environmental monitoring and remediation program. Full operations will resume once the economics of mining at Mount Polley improve.

Mount Polley is an open pit copper/gold mine with an underground component located in south-central British Columbia, 56 kilometres northeast of Williams Lake. The property encompasses 20,113 hectares, comprised of seven mining leases totalling 2,007 hectares, and 46 mineral claims encompassing 18,106 hectares. Mount Polley mine is owned and operated by Mount Polley Mining Corporation (MPMC), a subsidiary of Imperial.

The Mount Polley mine resumed normal operations in June 2016, following receipt of authorizations from the Ministry of Energy and Mines (MEM) and the Ministry of Environment (MOE). To date, significant progress has been made with our remediation of the areas impacted by the 2014 Mount Polley Breach. Research and monitoring has observed rapid recovery of the impacted environment. Remediation and monitoring of these areas is ongoing.

MPMC had been operating under a short-term water management plan in effect since November 30, 2015. In October 2016, MPMC submitted its long-term water management plan permit amendment application to MOE. Formal approval of the long-term water management plan received by MPMC on April 7, 2017, following five months of extensive public consultation with First Nations and local communities. The application also underwent a full technical review from the Cariboo Mine Development Review Committee which includes representatives from provincial and federal agencies, First Nations, local governments (City of Williams Lake and Cariboo Regional District), and the community of Likely.

About Imperial

Imperial is a Vancouver exploration, mine development and operating company. The Company, through its subsidiaries, owns the Red Chris, Mount Polley and Huckleberry copper mines in British Columbia. Imperial also holds a 50% interest in the Ruddock Creek lead/zinc property.

Mount Polley mine is located in south-central British Columbia, 56 kilometres northeast of Williams Lake. The Mount Polley mine is owned and operated by Mount Polley Mining Corporation, a subsidiary of the Company. 

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