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

UPDATE: Tsunami warning cancelled for coastal British Columbia

Warning issued following 7.9 earthquake off Kodiak, AK

Doukhobor Heritage Society seeks zoning change for water plant

Questions remain on how taking 500,000 litres a day from aquifer would affect local water supply

Can the Arrow Lakes ecosystem be restored?

With cooperation and coordination, a local environmental group says it can

Judgment reserved in Nakusp school sex trial

Trial concluded today with lawyer’s summations

Former teacher acquitted on two of four sex charges

Judge found no evidence to support sexual assault charges against Shanny McIvor

Tsunami warnings 101: Canada

Here are some things to know about tsunami alerts in Canada and how they work

Andrew Scheer on trade, Trump and Trudeau

Canada’s Conservative leader begins three-day visit to B.C.

Victims restrained, sex toys and cash stolen from B.C. adult store

Armed suspects sought in adult store robbery

Vancouver Islanders ponder need for tsunami siren song

Alarm sounds in Port Alberni but not at the DND base in Esquimalt

Babcock, Goyette and Smyth honoured at Order of Hockey in Canada

Mike Babcock, from Saskatoon, guided the Detroit Red Wings to a Stanley Cup in 2008

Bell Canada alert prompts RCMP, privacy watchdog to probe data breach

Company spokesman: ‘Fewer than 100,000 customers were affected’

‘The tsunami alarm failed my household’: North Coast residents concerned over sirens, alerts

People living in northern communities share how they learned about Tuesday’s tsunami warning

Snowboarder dies at Vancouver Island ski resort

Death at Mount Washington Alpine Resort

Man faces 48 charges in string of random Toronto shootings

The string of unprovoked shootings began Jan.9, say police

Most Read