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Map: What part of B.C. is affected by the Mount Polley mine waste water spill? Add to ...

On Aug. 4, 2014, an earthen dam containing waste water from the Mount Polley Mine in B.C.’s Cariboo region breached, sending water and fine sand from the tailings pond into Hazeltine Creek. Some of the waste water and debris also spilled into Polley Lake and Quesnel Lake. See below the map for the latest sequence of events:

1. On Aug. 4, a tailings pond dam breach sent 10 million cubic metres of water and 4.5 million cubic metres of fine sand into Polley Lake.

2. The balance of the tailings and water flowed down Hazeltine Creek, which was originally 1.2 metres wide, but is now up to 150 metres wide.

3. A water-drinking and fish-eating ban has been reduced, and now applies to Polley Lake, Hazeltine Creek and a 100-metre radius into Quesnel Lake from the creek’s mouth.

4. Debris from the dam breach created an unstable blockage of Polley Lake. Imperial Metals has since installed a pipe to allow for lake drainage to the creek.

5. Work continues on a dike at the dam breach to contain tailings material during rain.


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