Ryan Peterson from Teck made a presentation on ground water issues to Kimberley Council, and said there would be further information sessions once all the feedback and questions had been gathered.
He stressed that Teck is committed to long-term management of groundwater issues and continual improvement to ensure there are no unacceptable risks.
In December 2020 Teck sent letters to some Kimberley residents to notify them that environmental assessments indicate that groundwater affected by historical operations and acid rock drainage had migrated to a portion of the aquifers underlying parts of Kimberley and Marysville.
Landowners would not encounter the impacted ground water during everyday activities on their properties, and the ground water does not affect Kimberley’s drinking water supply.
While the impacted groundwater does not affect day to day use of the notified properties, notification is required under the Contaminated Sites Regulation and necessary before Teck can get approval of a remediation plan.
Since mine closure in 2001, Teck has used various strategies to mitigate acid rock drainage, including limiting oxygen and water contact with sulphides, consolidation of waste materials, cover systems, revegetation, diversions, interception and treatment of impacted water and comprehensive monitoring and assessments following a risk management plan.
A network of wells around Sullivan Hill, where the mine was located, are regularly sampled. Water in Mark Creek, Lois Creek, Luke Creek and the St. Mary River was routinely tested as well, and Peterson said there has been significant improvement in that water quality resulting from Teck’s mitigation systems since closure.
Peterson told Council that there was no evidence that any contaminated water had migrated towards the water shed.
More detailed information on all Teck’s mitigation strategies can be found at www.teck.com/sullivan.
If anyone has questions or feedback, call 250-427-8425 or email Sullivan.firstname.lastname@example.org.
All feedback and questions from the public meetings already held and received through calls and emails will be compiled and used to update information for future meetings.
Peterson estimated that the next round of information sessions would be in late February.