The Ministry of Environment continues to review a short term water plan submitted to them by Imperial Metals for the Mount Polley Mine.

Since being granted a partial restart in June, the mine has been operating with a 50% workforce and dumping tailings in an unused hole called the Springer Pit. Now that pit is starting to fill up.

Imperial Metals spokesperson Steve Robertson says they are building a water treatment plant so they can discharge the water into Quesnel Lake.

“Our projections are that with a normal snowfall this winter, we are going to get to the point where water will start to ex-filtrate out of the springer pit and into the ground water. So it’s going to be leaving the site one way or another.”

He says the water treatment plant they hope to have online by the middle of November don’t have any adverse effects on Quesnel Lake.

“The mine contact water, as we have been able to prove over and over again, is fairly good quality. Even the mine water that was in the tailings impoundment prior to the breach, after 17 years of being on site and recycled over and over again in the milling process is very good quality water.”

The treatment plant would be operational for a maximum of two years.

Imperial Metals is required to submit a long term water use plan by June 30th before they will be given clearance to resume mining at full capacity.