Acid pond left behind by the Tulsequah Chief mine exploration project

B.C. mine cleanup marks deal with Alaska

B.C. takes over Tulsequah Chief cleanup, agreement signed to protect Taku, Unuk, Alsek and Stikine Rivers

The B.C. government is proceeding with cleanup assessment of an abandoned gold mine project on the Taku River system, as it puts in place a joint oversight system with Alaska to clear the way for future B.C. mine developments.

B.C. Energy and Mines Minister Bill Bennett said the B.C. government is taking over the cleanup after the latest owner of the Tulsequah Chief project, 100 km south of Atlin, went bankrupt like its predecessor.

The old exploration project affects one of the rivers flowing from B.C. into Alaska waters, the Taku, Unuk, Alsek and Stikine. B.C.’s Red Chris mine is the only operating mine in the region, on the Stikine system, and two other large properties, Brucejack and KSM Mine, are in the Unuk River watershed.

Toronto-based Chieftain Metals was pushed into receivership in September with a $27 million debt. It took over from Redfern Resources, which collapsed in the 2009 financial crisis, on a mineral deposit originally explored by Cominco in the 1950s.

Bennett toured the Tulsequah Chief site in 2015 with Alaska Lt. Governor Byron Mallott. Chieftain Metals built a water treatment plant and was doing assessment of acid and heavy metal pollution from its entrance tunnel to the Tulsequah River when it halted operations.

“The company had committed to ecosystem risk management study, but they’ve gone broke so we’re doing it ourselves,” Bennett said. “We’re going to pay for it ourselves and we’re in the last stages of hiring a contractor to do that work for the two ministries.”

The bilateral working group with Alaska and B.C. representatives will first gather baseline data on water conditions in the shared river systems.

Bennett credited Mallott’s work with Alaska tribes and commercial fishing organizations to represent them in negotiations with B.C. Their protests to Alaska government officials surged after the Mount Polley mine tailings pond failure in B.C. as new mines were proposed for areas affecting Alaska.


Just Posted

Update: Body found on Blind Bay beach ‘recently deceased male’

Police and coroner investigating, death deemed ‘non-suspicious’

Photos: Salmon Arm celebrates Paralympic champion Natalie Wilkie

Hometown hero welcomed home with parade, recognition ceremony at city hall

Update: Fire at Best Western Hotel sends man to hospital for smoke inhalation

Crews on scene Friday morning, fire extinguished quickly

Man shot by police in 2017 pleads guilty to string of offences

Kaymen Winter gets two years, opts for trial on two charges related to Salmon Arm car wash shooting

Shuswap drug smuggler pleads guilty in U.S. court

Colin Martin admits to using helicopters to transport marijuana and cocaine across the border

What’s happening

Find out which events are taking place in the Okanagan and Shuswap this weekend

Canucks sing the Blues as they fall to St. Louis 4-1

Berglund nets two, including the game-winner, to lift St. Louis over Vancouver

Calving season brings hope for Cariboo ranchers

Still a lot of work ahead to recover from the wildfires

Canada’s Kaetlyn Osmond wins figure skating world title

The 22-year-old fwon the women’s singles crown with her Black Swan routine

B.C. pooches celebrate National Puppy Day

Check out some of the submissions from around B.C. for National Puppy Day 2018

Alberta tells B.C. to stop opposing pipelines if it doesn’t like gas prices

John Horgan said he would like to see the federal government step in to deal with high gas prices.

B.C. mother hit in truck rampage dies

Family confirms mother of four Kelly Sandoval dies almost two months after being hit.

Dance into spring with Shujazz

Listen to music, enjoy an introductory dance lesson on Tuesday, March 27

Armstrong declares State of Emergency

Residents whose homes are impacted by the flooding should call City Hall 250-546-3023

Most Read