Mount Polley Mining Corporation plans to lay off about 78 employees by the end of 2018 to pay for work it still has to complete because of the Aug. 2014 tailings breach. Photo submitted

Staged layoffs at Mount Polley in 2018 will impact 78 jobs

Mount Polley Mine is beginning staged lay-offs to pay for projects it must complete because of the 2014 breach.

Imperial Metals is beginning staged lay offs at its Mount Polley Mine near Williams Lake that will impact about 78 full-time positions by the end of 2018.

The move comes in order to pay for projects the company has to complete because of the 2014 tailings breach, Mount Polley Mining Corporation general manager Dale Reimer told the Tribune Wednesday.

“We are trying to get cash positive for 2018 because we have some big projects we have to do to keep the mine going,” Reimer said.

Those projects include removing the tailings that were put into the Springer Pit after the mine breach and more restoration work to Hazeltine Creek because of the damage caused by the breach.

“We also have more work to do to lift our tailings dam a bit,” Reimer said. “We have to be cash positive to do those projects for the long-term mine liability.”

“Approximately 16 people will be laid off in the first quarter,” Reimer confirmed.

In the second quarter the company will lay off another 26 people, in the third quarter an additional 16 and in the fourth quarter approximately 10 more, he confirmed.

It is also expected that an additional 39 people who were working under a temporary contract that expires in January 2018 will no longer be working at the mine after next week, Reimer said.

For the most the part, the restoration work is done by the company, except for dredging of the Springer Pit which has be to be done by experts, Reimer explained.

“We don’t have the equipment or the knowledge. It’s very specific work.”

In the last six months of 2018, the mine will be using its stock piles and won’t be doing any additional mining, Reimer noted.

Presently there are 337 people working at the mine.

If the mine can get all the work done that is required it is hoped the number of employees will be back up to that level in the future, Reimer said.

United Steelworkers Union Local 2017 past president Paul French declined comment on the lay-offs because the union is in contract talks with the company.

Read more: Mount Polley shares remediation plans

Just Posted

Bounty on West Kootenay northern pike

$10 a head reward for northern pike caught in Columbia, Kootenay and Pend d’ Oreille Rivers.

Nelson fire department douses blaze on CPR land

Nelson police are investigating

‘The Columbia River is on fire!’

Fishing columnist Kerry Reed on the great fishing in the Columbia River and Kootenay Lake

LETTERS: Proportional representation debate not balanced

From readers Marty Horswill and Steve Fawcett

France doubles up Croatia 4-2 to win World Cup

Played in Moscow Russia, latest Fifa World Cup marks the highest scoring final since 1966

REPLAY: B.C.’s best video this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Non-union construction industry fears exclusion in B.C.

Premier John Horgan imposes ‘project labour agreements’ for public works

Trump, Putin sit down a bit late for closely watched summit

Trump and Putin arrived Monday at Helsinki’s presidential palace for a long-awaited summit.

In TV interview, Trump claims queen called Brexit ‘complex’

Asked the queen’s view on Brexit, Trump said: “She said it’s a very complex problem.”

Exotic corpse flower begins to emit its putrid scent at Vancouver conservatory

A unique and exotic tropical plant, acclaimed for its size and abhorred for its smell, is blooming at a Vancouver conservatory.

CREA reports June home sales down 10.7% from year ago, but up from May

The Canadian Real Estate Association says home sales in June were down 10.7 per cent compared with a year ago.

Tens of thousands give heroes’ welcome to Croatia team

Euphoria gave way to a mixture of disappointment and pride for Croatia fans after their national team lost to France in its first ever World Cup final.

Former NHL goalie Ray Emery drowns in Lake Ontario

Police say the 35-year-old’s death appears to be a ‘case of misadventure’

Air quality statement warns of smoky air for Kamloops area

Environment ministry says area on north side of Thompson River may be affected by wildfire smoke

Most Read