Save the Sacred Headwaters, Stop the Red Chris Mine
Remember last summer when we saw the horrifying images of 10 billion litres of toxic sludge flooding from the Mount Polley mine into the Hazeltine Creek watershed? [ref]What Mount Polley can teach us about the Red Chris mine - http://www.davidsuzuki.org/blogs/panther-lounge/2014/10/what-mount-polley-can-teach-us-about-the-red-chris-mine/[/ref]
Imperial Metals, the same company responsible for the Mount Polley Disaster, wants to build a massive new mine near the Sacred Headwaters - a vast area in Northwestern BC that is the birthplace of the Skeena, Naas and Stikine rivers - and they could get the last permit they anytime between now and March. [ref]Sacred Headwaters - http://www.sierraclub.bc.ca/our-work/hotspots/sacred-headwaters[/ref] [ref]Northwest BC mine opening delayed - http://www.terracestandard.com/news/286086081.html[/ref]
Local communities have rallied since learning that Imperial Metals wants to use the same tailing pond design that failed at Mount Polley. Now we need a BC-wide outcry to show Premier Clark, and the Ministers responsible for the permit, that the people of this province won't tolerate another reckless disaster.
We need to act fast. Send a message to Premier Clark, Minister of Energy and Mines Bennett and Minister of Environment Polak and demand that they stop the permit of the Red Chris Mine until the safety concerns of the local communities are met.
The Sacred Headwaters region is the source of the Stikine, Nass and Skeena rivers, three of BC’s most important salmon bearing rivers. This region is also the spawning ground for rainbow trout and home of mountain goats, grizzly bears, wolverines, stone sheep and Caribou. Some have called it Canada’s Serengeti. [ref]Tahltan's Sacred Headwaters defence has deep roots - http://www.davidsuzuki.org/blogs/science-matters/2013/09/tahltans-sacred-headwaters-defence-has-deep-roots/[/ref]
After the Mount Polley disaster, the Klabona Keepers of the Tahltan First Nation demanded an independent review of the Red Chris Mine, and the results are scary. [ref]Imperial Metals granted temporary injunction to remove Red Chris mine blockade - http://www.vancouversun.com/business/Imperial+Metals+granted+temporary+injunction+remove+Chris+mine/10276569/story.html#ixzz3PIvqoWME[/ref]. The engineering firm hired to do the review found the following:
The soil on which the dam for the tailings pond is planned to be built is highly permeable, which could affect the stability of the dam. They called this a “major design issue”
Imperial Metals doesn’t have a proper emergency plan to respond to a mine collapse
The toxic wastewater in this mine will be more toxic and acidic than the water at Mount Polley, which means the fisheries on the Stikine, Nass and Skeena are under dire threat from a spill [ref]Review of Tailings Impoundment Design - http://www.thetyee.ca/Documents/2014/11/20/Klohn-Cripper-Berger-Tailings-Impoundment-Report.pdf[/ref]
To make matters worse, the company’s insurance policy will only cover cleanup costs of up to $15 million, which is pathetic. Imperial Metals previous mining disasters have had clean up costs of up to $600 million - so either the clean up won’t happen, or citizens get stuck with the bill. [ref]What Mount Polley can teach us about the Red Chris mine - http://www.davidsuzuki.org/blogs/panther-lounge/2014/10/what-mount-polley-can-teach-us-about-the-red-chris-mine/[/ref]
The Klabona Keepers aren’t alone in this fight. They’ve been joined by Beyond Boarding, the Council of Canadians, Leadnow.ca and many others. More and more people understand the need to move beyond the old way of doing things and create an economy that’s built to last. But unless we speak out now, the Red Chris Mine could slip by before most people even hear it’s name.We can win this, but we need to turn up the pressure now. Help BC avoid another Mount Polley disaster - Join us in telling Premier Clark, Minister Bennett and Minister Polak to stop the permits for the Red Chris Mine until they have addressed the communities’ concerns.