Background - Mt. Polley report

“Without exception, dam breaches produce tailings releases. This is why best practices can only go so far in improving the safety of tailings technology that has not fundamentally changed in the past hundred years.”

Report on Mount Polley Tailings Storage Facility Breach, Section 9, Page 119

 

“While advances in practices, procedures and policies are imperative, the Panel does not expect these measures by themselves to achieve this degree of improvement. The path to zero needs an added dimension, and that dimension is technology.”

Report on Mount Polley Tailings Storage Facility Breach, Section 9, Page 119

 

“...Mount Polley has shown the intrinsic hazards associated with dual-purpose impoundments storing both water and tailings. The Panel considers that security can be more readily assured for conventional water dams that are designed and constructed for their own purpose and that preventing tailings release is the overriding imperative.”

Report on Mount Polley Tailings Storage Facility Breach, Section 9, Page 121

 

“The chief reason for the limited industry adoption of filtered tailings to date is economic. Comparisons of capital and operating costs alone invariably favour conventional methods. But this takes a limited view. Cost estimates for conventional tailings dams do not include the risk costs, either direct or indirect, associated with failure potential...Full consideration of life cycle costs including closure, environmental liabilities, and other externalities will provide a more complete economic picture. While economic factors cannot be neglected, neither can they continue to pre-empt best technology.”

Report on Mount Polley Tailings Storage Facility Breach, Section 9, Page 123

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