Mount Polley Mine

  • open pit copper/gold mine
  • mill processes 20,000 tonnes per day
  • commenced operations 1997
  • current mine life to end 2025
  • concentrate trucked to Port of Vancouver
  • mine operations have been suspended since August 4, 2014
Claim Map: Mount Polley
Mount Polley is an open pit copper/gold mine with a developing underground project located in south-central British Columbia, 56 kilometres northwest of Williams Lake. The Mount Polley property covers 18,892 hectares, consisting of seven mining leases totalling 2,007 hectares, and 44 mineral claims encompassing 16,885 hectares.

On August 4, 2014 there was a breach of the tailings embankment at Mount Polley. Operations were suspended, and the mine is currently on care and maintenance.

Since August 2014 our employees, along with a team of experts with global experience, have been working on rehabilitation and restoration of the breach and surrounding affected areas. We have also been actively interacting with the local community, the Xat'sull First Nation and the Williams Lake Indian Band and regulators to mitigate the effects of the breach. The precise costs of the rehabilitation and restoration work have not been determined, however we believe the Company can manage the costs over time.

The independent panel which investigated the cause of the breach concluded in their January 30, 2015 report that the failure was sudden and without warning, and was due to the fact that the independent engineer's design did not take into account the strength of a glacio-lacustrine layer approximately eight metres below the foundation of the embankment.

Alternatives for a modified restart of mine operations have been studied and consulted on with First Nations and the Province. In the restart plan, mining would begin in the Cariboo pit with tailings deposited into the Springer pit. An application to restart the mine has been submitted and future production will be dependent upon receiving regulatory permission to restart operations.

Mount Polley production for the period up to August 4 when operations were suspended was 24.5 million pounds copper, 25.9 thousand ounces gold and 74.7 thousand ounces silver.

Updated May | 2015

For current and/or additional information, refer to the Company's Press Releases, Quarter Reports & Annual Information Form.