Penticton and South Okanagan
Mine cranks up production after spill
Sep 25, 2013 / 11:16 am
The stop work order for the Basin Coal Mine has been lifted, according to the spokesman for Coalmont Energy Corp.
The advisory came from the chief inspector of mines, following inspection of the Tulameen River site, where there was a coal tailings spill from the mine near Coalmont in August.
Certainly Coalmont energy is very pleased the ministry has lifted the stop work order, and we are able to focus on resumption of mine operations," said spokesman Keith Meldrum.
On Tuesday, representatives from the Ministry of Energy and Mines completed a site visit to review the work completed with respect to the chief inspector's orders.
As a result of the vavrious submitted engineering reports and other required documentation, as well as the ministry staff's confirmation of work completed, the stop work order has been lifted.
Coalmont Energy Corp. is now in the process of recalling employees and getting the mine back into full operations.
The Minisitry of Environment also aproved the company's action plan regarding the spill.
As part of that plan, Polaris Applied Science recommended that the silt in Collin's Gulch that has been captured behind dams and fences be removed using vacuum trucks. That work took place this week, according to Meldrum.
Staff from Triton Environmental Consultants is continuing field analysis at numerous locations along Collin's Gulch and the Tulameen and Similkameen rivers collecting various water, fish and soil samples. That field work will continue over the next few weeks, while laboratory tests are conducted over next few months.
The environmental impact assessment will continue into the fall of 2014.
The company originally reported that 6,500 gallons was spilled, but that number has since doubled, according to updates this month.
"We are satisfied with the progress being made on the clean up effort," said Meldrum. "We have not encountered any issues as we vacuum up the sediment in the gulch."
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