Monthly Archives: November 2014

Shuswap’s only tailings dam

With the valuable ore removed, all that is left in the Samatosum mine’s open pit is rusty, acidic water

Given the elevated concerns about mine tailings after the Mt. Polley disaster, I recently took advantage of the opportunity for a tour of the Samatosum Mine reclamation site near Adams Lake. The open pit silver, lead, zinc and copper mine was in operation for just three years beginning in 1989 and produced some 566,000 tons of ore along with 9-million tons of waste rock and 542,000 tons of tailings. Despite its small footprint of just 189 hectares, the reclamation efforts took many years and resulted in the need for a water treatment plant that may be required to remain in operation forever.

Continue reading

Shuswap Lake pollution report leaves questions

It is a massive report, through a modeling exercise, that provides detailed data about the sources of nutrients that enter Shuswap Lake and yet it leaves many questions unanswered. Produced by the environmental consulting firm, Tri-Star, the 2014 SLIPP Water Quality Report examines tributaries, authorized point-source discharges, natural sources and all seepage sites to determine where there are major concerns that can be minimized through improved nutrient source management.

Continue reading