Copper Mountain Mine near Princeton hit with $51K in environmental fines in 2020

Environmental fine for mine

The Copper Mountain Mine near Princeton was issued two administrative penalties in 2020 for non-compliance with the Environmental Management Act, totalling $51,000.

The mine was found to have an "unauthorized discharge" and "multiple nitrate and sulphate exceedances" in some of its seepage points to nearby waterways, including Wolfe Creek.

Nitrate concentrations in the water at the Wolfe Creek site should not exceed 3 mg/L, but testing showed it at 4 mg/L on multiple occasions.

The full report also notes the mine was out of compliance for unauthorized discharges into waterways that connect to the Similkameen River.

At the west dam of the tailings management facility, seepage water was found to be making its way into the waterways for significant portion of 2020. The report found that the mine was in contravention of the Environmental Management Act.

"An August 13, 2020 inspection found that Copper Mountain had installed works to cease these unauthorized discharges; however, since the unauthorized discharges continued for different periods in 2020 and the nitrate exceedances continued in 2019 and 2020, the file was referred for consideration of another administrative penalty," reads a statement from the Ministry of Environment.

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